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FIRST RIDE
DAN ATHERTON
On the GT Sanction
PHOTOS Ian Hylands VIDEO Larock

Dan Atherton photo by Ian Hylands post editing by Bob Bogdan Williams

Views: 69,968    Faves: 525    Comments: 45


Dan Atherton s GT Sanction

Dan Atherton s GT Sanction

Dan Atherton rides his new GT near Laguna Beach California
bigquotesNo matter how good the suspension is (on an enduro bike) it's never going to be as good as a downhill bike, and yet you're riding similar sorts of tracks. So I think the geometry has to be absolutely perfect, tailor-made for each rider, you have to feel really comfortable on that bike, because the geometry is what's going to get you through, not how well the travel is working. For me personally I like a slack head angle and a low bottom bracket, maybe even as slack as 64 even on some tracks, that comes from the fact that enduro pretty much is a downhill race, but you have to ride to the top. - Dan Atherton



bigquotesThe rest of the year is looking like pretty specialist enduro schedule. I'm going to be doing all the Italian Superenduro stuff, a lot of the Megavalanche stuff and some of the races out here in America like Downieville, stuff like that. It's another challenge I've done a lot of things in my career and enduro is going to be the next kind of stage for me. - Dan Atherton

Dan also got a chance to ride his new GT hardtail, and as with Gee no comments as of yet, but we'll let you know what they think after a few more rides...
Dan Atherton rides at Sheep Hills in California

Dan Atherton rides at Sheep Hills in California

Dan and Gee Atherton ride at Sheep Hills in California

bigquotesI think as far as enduro goes as a sport it's very young, and it hasn't kind of identified itself yet. When people race downhill you really know what the fastest products are on the market, and you really know how to set your bike up. But with enduro all the races are different... and with that comes a massive range of bike setups. Some races you'll be running single ply tires and another race you'll be running full on downhill tires. It really does depend on the track and the riders preferences. - Dan Atherton
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143 Comments

  • + 53
 dan may be new in enduro but he knows what it takes to ride enduro and the kind of bike needed for enduro. i hope he fairs well and does good on this career path.

by the way, is it really the GT sanction or force coz it says force on the top tube of the bike?
  • + 1
 It is a Sanction, I believe the graphics that they had may just be for the Force LE which is the same frame.
  • + 3
 2 names, same frame?
  • + 17
 the photos...so good. the big DJ shot's lighting is supreme.

btw call me old school but since when did 150-160 become "short travel"? hehe

2nd btw is Rachel's bike going to be white too? I hope so.
  • + 1
 we'll have to see, that's what I was told when I asked about it...
  • - 14
 rear triangle on the sanction looks pretty flimsy!
  • - 42
 4x then downhill, now enduro? Doesnt seem like dan can make up his mind.
  • + 24
 can't wait to see rachel's first ride on the fury
  • + 29
 Forget Rachel's first ride, what about Marc? Feel sorry for the guy getting completely overshadowed so quickly!
  • + 2
 This is a matter of popularity. We had Gee and his Fury a few days ago, now there's Dan. Next video will be Rachel on her Fury and then Marc, I'm sure.
  • + 1
 exactly what i was thinking, 2010 he was 5th overall in the world cup, last year 14th overall, 7th at world champs last year 6th in 2010. Outstanding results, but been shitcanned a bit here. Heres hoping slugger will still get the time of day he deserves!!
  • + 4
 whys he not running a dropper post?
  • + 3
 Don't think any of their sponsors make dropper posts.
  • + 32
 Are you guys for real? Dan has, for many years, raced at the very highest level of both downhill and 4x. That he's come back from such a potentially debilitating injury so quickly is amazing to see and truly an inspiration. Dan is professional, driven and as far as I can see, still amazingly motivated to ride well. I think it's great to see more top level riders competing in the Enduro side of the sport, it really helps to add status to the racing and will hopefully convince more riders to give it a go.
  • + 10
 "And he ain't any good that them..."

It's all relative, sure he's only got one world cup win to his name - but he was regularly in the top 8 at 4X world cups! Sometimes it's easy to see somebody not winning and think they're not very good, but you need to take a step back and actually look at the results, not just the wins.

When you've beaten him in a single DH, 4X or enduro race, come back and we might value your opinion.
  • + 1
 He won a 4x world cup and his best DH world cup result was a 2nd place. How does this translate to him being bad at these genres of racing?
  • + 0
 He's gotta go where the sponsors want visibility and where the market is headed. Makes sense, it's the largest bike segment at the moment; bikes that go up and down
  • + 12
 Ha ha I guesss being inside of the top 20 riders IN THE WORLD over the years makes him ' not good ' . Kids... jsut becuase he aint podiumed or won in a while does not make him bad , slow , what ever , think about the level of competition out there then think about shutting the fk up in future..
  • + 0
 Fox are bringing a dropper out, video.mpora.com/watch/zZGMwFQ4b.
  • + 1
 Sweet. Hopefully they give it the Kashima treatment...
  • + 1
 Pretty sure Dan got podiums in the enduros he raced last season as well
  • - 2
 the GT dirtjump bike looks so sick!
  • + 0
 He rides his Enduro bike faster than I ride my DH bike... Go get it Dan!!!
  • + 4
 @OliScale and whitwelljames.
Dan was competing in 4x and DH at world cup level at THE SAME TIME. Not only that but he was doing well at both. I don't know many professional riders that could compete at both for a full season at a high level, let alone achieve decent results to boot.
I'll bet he's better at all of those disciplines than either of you are at any single one too. Wink His sponsors seem to think so.
And all this after almost paralysing himself from the neck down. Don't know if I'd get back on a bike as quickly as he has, or to the same level!
Show some respect for one of MTB's top athletes, in MULTIPLE genres.
  • + 3
 We'll try to bring some coverage of Rachel and Marc, neither of them were in California when we were there. I believe Rachel is there now though, so hopefully we can arrange something in the near future, we'll probably have to wait a bit for Marc.
[Reply]
  • + 22
 There's something about white on bikes that is just so right
I'd rather have white than a clusterf**k of crazy fluorescent colours
Keep the white GT's! Big Grin
  • + 14
 yeah man. kash coatings and white. so good.
  • + 1
 epavichthesavage...I agree entirely.

K.I.S.S.

"...clusterf**k of crazy fluorescent colours" -- that made me laugh; thank you for that.
  • + 0
 Honestly, I think that Dan's bike is as sick as Gee's if not sicker haha!
  • + 1
 I dunno. that fury is growin' on me. I need more time alone with the sanction. I don't mean that like it sounded. is there a carbon version? too lazy to check the site
[Reply]
  • + 18
 I feel like he is a more stylish rider than his brother
[Reply]
  • + 9
 To clear up some confusion: Sanctions and forces share the same style of tubing for frame construction. Force (Aluminum) has a much different geo than the sanction as the sanction is slacker and lower. As well the sanctions are easily distinguishable from the force aluminum by looking at the head tube for gussets, as the Forces do not have this feature.
  • - 1
 Great explanation Cho! We had our Italian GT rider Sottocornola winning aboard the GT Sanction all year round in the Superenduro series. By chance he just happened to finish 4 seconds ahead of Dan in the last round featuring Absalon and Vouilloz. Maybe things would have been different if Dan already had his Sanction :-)
[Reply]
  • + 10
 "It's a tough thing the train for" ...cuts to shot of him riding in the sunshine along a beach ..haha!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 ohhh there doing seperate sections on the whole team, that makes more sense.! I thought they were just doing one on Gee. I really liked Dans and Gees interview, they seem to be alot happier with GT than commencal from what im seeing. Roll on 2012
  • + 8
 Clever to drag out the media coverage Wink The Atherton's know how to play the game and fair play to them- no-one else has the media side of things as dialed as them
  • + 3
 Except Cedric Gracia!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Seems to me he didn't say a whole lot about the GT in particular, how it rode or compared to what he's previously run. He just stated what he looked for in an enduro bike. That said he sounded stoked on the new direction and it sure looked like he was shredding the new ride!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 im dissapointed I didn't see dan in a neck brace at all, especially after his previous experience's
  • + 0
 They don't work without a full face and I certainly wouldn't want to do an Enduro in a full face!
  • + 0
 yes, but still for most of the video he was in a full face and I know it would be fairly warm but still
  • + 1
 waiting for sponsors i guess?
[Reply]
  • + 6
 He makes enduro seem awesome!
  • + 27
 Cause it is.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Wow Dan looks in amazing shape! I was kind of freaking out about how slim he was until, he mentioned the changes in training.
He's no longer stuffed into his skinny jeans. Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 4
 dan atherton riding downieville, sick. gonna have to come watch that race for sure
  • + 1
 Come to Ashland too Dan!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i dig the athertons exposure and what GT is doing, but i hope they don't forget about some of the other awesome riders they signed this season. namley marc and kenny belaey. i am really wondering when GT is going to roll out the red carpet for kenny and when or if they are going to build a trials specific frame for him. kenny is consistently one of the best riders in his discipline and for a non trials company to sign him is huge.
  • + 4
 I would like to see that as well, and they have a few other athletes too that haven't been mentioned here. But do remember that this is Pinkbike coverage of the Athertons, and not a GT marketing campaign, and we do also have a lot of other athletes we need to feature besides just the GT ones. I would love to do something with Marc though, he's just a little too far away at the moment.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I hope GT and the Athertons would get along well.. It just felt weird last year that GT went under the radar (I mean I didn't hear from them during the WC).. GT's had always been seen as something cheap or crappy in the forums, so I hope that this year, with the Athertons, their image would be better..

p.s.: I ride a GT, so I'm really looking forward to them this season as the guys riding for the brand.. tup
[Reply]
  • + 1
 GUYS can anyone tell me what shoes are those Dan is wearing in these pictures!???
I am am looking for new clipless shoes to use with candy pedals for AM/Enduro and those just look awesome!


HELP?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm super stoked on GT coming out and really forcing there way into the DH and now eduro world. I thbk there a great company who now really holds some of the bestriders in the world.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just rode this same trail today. Watching his lines in the video, EYE OPENING. Following his lines made a HUGE difference in my ride and ability. Thanks Dan!!!!
  • + 2
 Man that's awesome. Lucky guy.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 his body langauge when he talks tells me he is not stoked to ride on a GT, yet Wink im sure he will dial it in
  • + 1
 +1. Their comments so aren't exactly a resounding endorsement for GT- they seem to talk more about compromises. Funny how GT have increased in popularity almost overnight though Wink
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What about RACHEL!!!
so stoked to see dan shredding again!
and why is he riding without neck brace?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wanted a GT distortion but couldn't find any- now I want a Sanction hope I can find one. Love my DB Mission but sanction can better play double duty as a do all.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Is it only me or does this:
"Dan also got a chance to ride his new GT hardtail, and as with Gee no comments as of yet, but we'll let you know what they think after a few more rides...
"...

make you think this...

"GT needs to make the most of any marketing opportunities and as part of that strategy we haven't decided quite what to tell the Athertons what to say yet.."
  • + 3
 Hardly, GT doesn't actually tell the Athertons what to say. And personally being the one that wrote that statement I'll back it up. How much would you honestly want to say about a bike after spending less than 40 minutes riding it for the first time at some dirt jumps? Professional Athletes will definitely think about how they say something so that they can better represent their sponsors products, but that's a long ways from imagining that there is always a man in the background telling people what to say. This is the mountain bike world, it honestly doesn't happen that I've ever seen...
  • + 1
 Thanks Ian for that... I am relieved that you can tell us all that.

As consumers we are facing an ever increasing myriad of choices over components, frames and set-ups; some may say (and I am one) that there may even be too much choice for the amateur to make sense of. I have trouble here in Japan because there are precious few Demo days over here and we rely on reviews heavily.

In all honesty, there is a relentless barrage of copy that the sponsors, pros and the media are in the business of creating to fill the space demanded by the readership. It is a tough job trying to both create content (your end!) and filter through trying to decipher what is reliable and what not (our end!).

I find Pinkbike does a better job than some other outlets I have used in giving their honest opinion in a constructive way (See the latest WEEZE chain guide review as a great example of telling the consumer, and product developer, what they need to know). However I think it would be verging on naive if we failed to ask if what we are being told by the various outlets be reliable, objective journalism.

As you say, pros are here to represent their sponsors products...a relationship open to.....manipulation should one choose to. I am glad to hear from you that you haven't seen the sponsor - pro relationship descend into something less than honest from the pressures of the relationship.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good to see Dan looking so much more confident on the bike. Does anyone know what the music is? Maybe someone can use the app on their iPhone - i don't have one...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 f*ck that manual! I'm OVER it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think he looks really quick and powerfull on the enduro!! I've been missing that when I saw him racing DH last season, I think he'll do great!!!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 GT still uses a dog bone that the entire susspension pivots on...the limp biscuit that GT is stuck with. My experience with Gt's has been one hell of a lot of matenance every 3 weeks to silence the ride. Any play in that area can lead to chain suck and an irritating ride. I do not have a full time mechanic like Gee. He made a huge mistake leaving Commencal. GT has a tarnished history from bankrupcies to failed heavy designs. Gee riding a white virgin bike does not convince me to go and buy one....the dude could look the same riding a huffy.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 anyone else see his kneepads change to 661 halfway through the video?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 He wont be using normal seatpost! I think on one of previus photos ive seen new fox seatpost
[Reply]
  • + 1
 frame has the top tube gusset it is a Sanction,,Temporary graphics say Force lol cool ass bike !
[Reply]
  • - 1
 The frame looks like a Sanction but it says "Force"... maybe GT wants more media exposure for the FORCE (maybe they want to sell more Forces than Sanctions) but is giving Dan the Sanction.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is a sanction with the force decals. There is no carbon sanction.
  • + 2
 Yes exactly, read skatodd's description somewhere else on the page here. He tells us what it really is...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What kind of shoes are the atherons rockin? The white and blue looks sooo sick.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dan is actually a really smooth rider.

I can't wait to see him winning all the enduro's. Razz
[Reply]
  • + 2
 ...Next time, Rachael Afferton rides the GT Laguna 12"...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hoping that he will be doing the Trans Provence with marc , it would be epic !!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Larocque is slaying these edits on my trails...LOVE IT!
Riding is ok too Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Leatt and does not use? it is impressive that do not take it after what happened ...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think a GT distortion would climb better than a sanction and still descend as well, Dan should be riding one of those!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow makes me want to buy a GT! Oh, No, wait, I know, it makes me want to be able to ride like Dan Atherton.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So killer to see Dan Atherton absolutley shredding again. Hero. That bike looks pretty damn fun too.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Anyone know what shoes those are? Looks like he is running Mallets for pedals, so they must be SPD. Could be wrong.
  • + 1
 somebody has never paid a visit to the 661 website
  • + 1
 Was it to much to just give an answer?
  • + 2
 i wasnt the one who neg. propped you just putting that out there, and they are 661 filters, but seriously man they've been sponsored by 661 for ages, and the other black shoes dan sometimes uses are shimano am45's
[Reply]
  • + 1
 does anyone know what are those shoes, the white ones he is using???
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love those super quick left-right-left jumps at 1:27 to 1:32
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the bb on gt's is a bit too high for my liking but what ever works right?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Still rocking a 661 lid Helmet
  • + 2
 Got to be a better choice for enduro than that spaceman helmet Gee is rocking!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the jump bike is the 2012 GT La Bamba !! and it is cool !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I didn't know Affy was in Lost. Fairplay
[Reply]
  • + 1
 you guys are stupid. 661 and ONEindustries is the same company.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Bike's so new, they didn't even tighten the valve stem... Hope they don't forget that before an enduro race.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 he's very professional and articulate i like that. i wish him the best of luck
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That is honestly the nicest dj bike in the world!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Wow Dan riding Car Wreck! Stoked to see another one of my favorite local trails showcased by these guys.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm really stoked to see Dan jumping again.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Pure style! I hope the Enduro racing goes well for him. It'd be good to see him take a couple of wins.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Cant wait for the season to start. Dan looks as strong as ever. That crash doesn't seem to have slowed him down one bit
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I see they're no longer wearing their neck braces... :/
  • + 1
 They probably will when they start racing again.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Still loving the awesome pics Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice edit, great bike setup breakdown and explanations.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 id prefer the META tbh than the force. The force just looks kinda unstable
[Reply]
  • + 0
 every thing has be nasty when they switch sponsors and bike
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Wow no neck brace I guess he has gotten back his confidence.
  • + 1
 confidence is no protection for a broken neck. Odd choice considering what he went through
  • + 1
 hey..............he's working
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love Kashima!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Says Force on the top tube. Not sanction yo.
  • + 2
 Yah, but it be a Sanction. The answer I was given is Sanction and Force LE will be same frame...
  • + 0
 Force LE? LE = Limited Edition?
  • + 1
 The Force LE is an upcoming 2013 model that is a mash-up of Force & Sanction for enduro type race use.
  • + 0
 I was told by a rep that they are the same frames but there are different shock eye to eye and the 160 fork that change the geo.
  • + 2
 The Force & Sanction (Force LE) frames are virtually identical in construction. The difference is geometry (TT length, HT angle, & fork length) & a TT gusset. They use the same shock length (7.5") & stroke (2.0") for 150mm of rear wheel travel. The shock tune on Sanction varies slightly to provide better performance on longer descents and thru high velocity compressions (g-out, fast drops).
  • + 1
 thanks Todd, stoked to have you here to explain this!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 That a mean bike with big rubbers. Eat people alive on the trail
[Reply]
  • + 0
 soooo... no neck brace..?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Typre tap at 0:43
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i think you forgive the leatt brace
[Reply]
  • + 0
 sick bike wat rims are they
[Reply]
  • + 0
 enduro looks more fun than i thought... i want that bike!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I want to do enduro now Razz although they cost a bit more than I thought
[Reply]
  • + 0
 absolutely great pics! A little bit too heavy for me the old one *LoL*
[Reply]
  • + 0
 good luck to dan in endruo
[Reply]
  • + 0
 whats the song name?
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Yeah Downhill is all downhill...
[Reply]
  • - 3
 The Athertons get way too much media coverage. Apparently PB is going to milk the $%!* out of these goons as well..
  • - 1
 I always say the snarky people come out last to comment on something.....lol No offence.
[Reply]
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