Gee Atherton on the start list for Red Bull Hardline 2022, his first professional race since suffering severe injuries in June 2021.
Official Press Release:
Gee Atherton, multiple National Champion and World Cup winner, is one of the most fearless downhill mountain bike riders of his generation. Now, the extraordinary Red Bull athlete is on the brink of one of his biggest achievements to date, as he proudly announces his return to professional racing, just one year after his horrific crash while filming ‘The Knife Edge’ video edit.
In true Gee fashion, he won’t let a setback defeat him and will be throwing himself right in the deep end by racing Red Bull Hardline 2022, the world’s toughest downhill mountain bike race, with the infamous course setting the stage for yet another career defining moment for the downhill champion, former World Cup series overall champion and winner of nine World Cups.
The list of injuries Gee had to overcome is lengthy – from breaking his leg, wrist, ribs, nose and eye socket to suffering with PTSD, night terrors and concussion. Gee’s recovery was not only physical, but a huge mental challenge too. For many, big crashes can shake your confidence and create mental barriers when out riding again, but Gee has worked relentlessly over the last year to overcome these barriers and get back to doing what he does best.
Gee is no stranger to big sends, which is just as well as the 2022 Red Bull Hardline course features some of the toughest and most progressive builds in the event’s history, crafted by brother and Red Bull Hardline course visionary Dan Atherton.
Gee has forged an unbelievable career in downhill racing and beyond for the last 22 years, not to mention his sensational big mountain projects and Red Bull Rampage performances. For many fans of the sport, the prospect of Gee getting back on the bike alone after such a severe setback is a sight to behold, let alone the mouth watering prospect of him preparing to ride the toughest Red Bull Hardline course to date.. With spectators allowed back to Red Bull Hardline now after a three year hiatus as part of a fully sold out event, the atmosphere trackside is guaranteed to be electric.
Looking ahead to Red Bull Hardline 2022, Gee said: “Obviously after a massive crash you never think you’re going to race again, or even ride again, but as I started to recover a bit Red Bull Hardline began to look quite appealing.”
“While I was injured I spent a lot of my time thinking about Red Bull Hardline and the goal of being able to ride again at that level was a massive driver. Through all those long hours in the gym it was a massive motivation for me.”
“Now I’ve had time to rehab, choosing the hardest race in the world to come back to maybe isn’t the best idea, but I’ve been training hard and I feel like I’m riding well – I’m not going to jump on the bike and aim for a podium, the goal is to ride Red Bull Hardline and to have fun doing it!
Red Bull Hardline will be broadcast live globally on Red Bull TV from 1pm on Sunday 11th September. Ahead of the event, fans can enjoy daily shows documenting all of behind the scenes action at Red Bull Hardline with episodes 1 & 2 available to watch on Saturday 10th September on Red Bull Bike’s YouTube channel, and episode 3 as an exclusive pre-show offering on Red Bull TV ahead of the main event.
Image Credit: Dan Griffiths
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