Dan Atherton

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Nationality: British
Birth Date: 25 January 1982
Birth Place: Wells, UK
Resides: Llanrhaeadr, Wales
Height: 1m 88
Weight: 76kg
Nick Name: Affy
Discipline: Enduro
 

Dan Atherton is “an inspiration to a generation of bikers” BBC Get inspired. Not only is he “one of the world’s greatest bike handlers” and a constant on Most Stylish Rider lists but he is renowned for his physical and mental toughness and the ‘“creative genius” Pinkbike of his prodigious trail-building.

He has dedicated his career to progressing mountain-biking and pushing the boundaries of the sport he loves. He’s the driving force behind spectacular moving image pieces such as 4X3 the Quarry line and the feature-length Escape.Create as well as the creator of Red Bull Hardline, the most challenging downhill race in the world.

In 2016 the GoPro footage of Dan’s Red Bull Hardline race run went viral with over 20 million views worldwide bringing downhill mountain-biking to an entirely new public.

Dan started racing BMX in Somerset when he was fourteen years old and it wasn’t long before he had Gee and Rachel hooked too. Both his siblings say they owe much of their success to Dan’s ongoing influence.

Dan’s versatility as a rider is matchless, he has had top flight results in BMX, Enduro, Downhill and Four Cross  (including a National Championship, numerous World Cup and EWS podiums and a 2008 World Cup win) But in 2010 his love of Dirt Jumping led to an accident which threatened to end his career when he broke his neck at C1 vertebrae.

It is a measure of his determination and of his love of the sport that he not only made a full recovery but returned to racing at the highest level. He chose to focus on Enduro, quickly securing another batch of world class results with wins at 2012 Superenduro (where he took 5 out of 5 stage wins) and 2012 Maxi Avalanche

Dan was hotly tipped for the inaugural EWS title but with just three rounds completed a shoulder dislocation at Mountain of Hell ended his chances. Its typical of Dan that reluctant to relinquish the race he popped his shoulder back in place, eventually finishing in third.

Another two difficult years of racing were to follow, with Dan’s often quoted belief that “there’s no progress without pain” proving horribly true with injury ruling him out of vital races every season.  The 2014 season kicked off with a fractured tibia, then 2015 was blighted by a blow to the neck which forced Dan to retire from EWS Rotorua and a massive crash during the testing of Red Bull Hardline which left his shoulder broken in three places.

But Dan has always considered himself a rider first and a racer second. In 2016 he largely stepped back from racing to mentor the Atherton Academy, coach local school-kids and work to help to develop the MTB community in Wales. Luckily for us he still found time to demonstrate his technical mastery against the world’s fastest Downhill riders at this year’s Hardline, once again smashing the limits of Downhill mountain-biking and pushing the sport to the next level.

Throughout the winter of 2016 -2017 Dan and his friends in Dyfi have been tirelessly building new tracks. Watch out for spectacular riding edits and updates on that work coming soon.

 

 

 

Career Highlights

 

2016/15 Creation of Red Bull Hardline
2015 Enduro World Series Round 2 10th
2014 Red Bull Hardline  2nd
Escape.Create
2013 Megavalanche 3rd
Mountain of Hell 3rd
Enduro World Series Round 1 5th
Enduro Word Series Round 3 5th
2012 Asia Pacific Challenge 1st
Superenduro Pro 6, Finale Ligure 1st
Maxi Avalanche, Andorra 1st
Megavalanche 3rd
Mountain of Hell 4th
2011 Maxi Avalanche, Flims 2nd
SuperEnduro Pro, Finale Ligure 4th
2009 4X World Cup Rd 1 Houffalize 2nd
4X World Cup Rd 6, Bromont 3rd
2008 4X World Cup Rd 2, Andorra 1st
4X World Cup Rd 7, Schladming 2nd
DH World Cup Rd 3, Fort William 6th
2004 4X National Champion 1st
 
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