Athertons and Commencal to part ways

After a five years together, it’s been announced that Commencal and the Athertons, Wales’ fastest biking family, are parting ways. Gee, Dan and Rachel Atherton have had over 50 victories and a number of World titles riding for the Andorran brand, but this year will be their last.

Gee piloting the Supreme DH at Val Di Sol - not a sight you'll be seeing at the races any more.

There have been plenty of rumours flying around the internet as to which team they might be moving to, with GT Bicycles cropping up as a potential frequently, but in their press release below they neither confirm nor deny this and say a statement on their future plans will be issued in due course.

Interesting times indeed.

Full release below….

“For five years now the names Commencal and Atherton have been synonymous. A relationship that grew out of a shared passion for racing mountain bikes, it’s hard to imagine two parties with such devotion to the cause.

Following Commencal’s recent touching words, Atherton Racing would like to wish a warm farewell to the company with whom they shared over 50 victories and multiple World titles.

Team Director Dan Brown commented “We’re sad to be saying goodbye to Max and the Commencal brand but we have to be happy with what we have achieved together and strive to continue our individual success stories along different paths. Max and his team have supported us amazingly over the last five years and we wish them all the best in the future. Although we will not be working alongside the brand anymore you can rest assured that we will remain great friends and look back on the partnership very fondly.”

Race results may have been key to the two parties but achieving this with style was paramount. What better way to look back over the five glorious years Atherton Racing have shared with Commencal than with a collection of breath-taking images.

A full trio of Athertons celebrating in Andorra

The teams’ combined history has been marked by some monumental occasions, most memorably the triple win in Andorra and the double world Championship in Val di Sole, Italy. Some of the images that depict these events have become an indelible part of the history of mountain biking. The grace with which Rachel tackles the toughest downhill in the world, Gee’s performances at the Red Bull Rampage and Dan’s effortlessly elegant flow on the biggest of dirt jumps, have been only moments in a story of determination, bravery and technical expertise.

In honour of the passing of these times the team would like to ask the people who have supported and celebrated with them to choose the defining images of the last half a decade.

Over the next five weeks there will be 10 of the best images from each year of the partnership placed on the Atherton Racing Facebook page. Simply leave a comment on your favourite to show your choice each week. And to thank you we’ll give away a Commencal Atherton edition Max Max bike EVERY WEEK for 5 weeks. Winners will be chosen at random from all (eligible) entries. Why not head over to http://www.facebook.com/athertonracing and vote for your favourite image from the first year of the partnership in 2007.

The five most popular photographs will be compiled into a slideshow, accompanied by personal accounts of the story behind each of them. Whether this is the joy of the good times, the sacrifices required or simply how much fun was had, it will perhaps go some way towards marking the special relationship that has existed between Commencal and Atherton Racing.

The Athertons will be announcing their future plans in due course and look forward to another season of amazing racing.

You can stay in touch with the Athertons and join their ‘Extended Family’ at www.athertonracing.co.uk follow them on Twitter @AthertonRacing. And like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/athertonracing

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