Projecto Athertoni - Val Di Sole World Cup Finals

Jun 17, 2013
by Nathan Hughes  
 
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  That'll do, sis. A pair of twin triumphs added to basket.


Two rounds down and it’s four top prize pay-outs lining the coffers of mountain biking’s most formidable double act. Now’s the time to send that letter asking if they’ll buy you the new stem you wanted. Val di Sole brought a fresh drenching of champagne for both Gee and Rachel once again today, as well as some high profile crashes up in the woods and a collection of less than typical faces looking out across the sea of media at the close of play.

Here's the gist of how it all came together...
Bryceland’s part bike, part body qualifying descent saw him spend an extended spell in the hot-seat, having raised the bar 4 seconds on the initial competition. Some 15 hopefuls later, Troy Brosnan came roosting into the arena on a razor-sharp run to edge the Syndicate rider off the perch. Lapierre's Loic Bruni, one year the Australian’s junior, was next to raise eyebrows with a rip-roaring 3:14.6 to head the field. A solid outing from Minnaar was then dispatched by a top-of-his-game Stevie Smith who took no prisoners on his way down through the boulders. There was only one man still at altitude and those from the land of lakes, ice hockey and maple syrup were rubbing their hands together in anticipation of Smith’s second ever World Cup win. However, a perfect ride once again from Gee Atherton, put a stop on the fantasy and turned things black and yellow all over for a second consecutive time. Bellisimo!


Blenky chows down in the pits with a little detox food before go time.
  Blenky chows down in the pits, with a little detox food, before go time.

Greg soaks up some pre-race atmos. Hard to believe he gets so nervous before his races.
  Greg soaks up some pre-race atmos. Hard to believe he gets so nervous before his races.

  The winner's tipple ready to get blown.

Do spare a thought for all the resting owls that were disturbed over the weekend by the racing.
  Most of the big names kept it to a minimum in the short-lived morning training session with just one or two runs. Then it was time to head on up through the forest one last time. Do spare a thought for all the resting owls that were disturbed over the weekend by the racing.

Earlier in the week PB photog Collin said Atwill was looking so fast and loose it was like he wanted to go home in a box . Instead he went home with a silver medal.
  Earlier in the week PB photog, Colin, said Atwill was looking so fast and loose it was 'like he wanted to go home in a box'. Luckily he went home with a silver medal instead.

The Aussie junior Dean Lucas cleaned Val Di Sole in 3 24.6 this arvo upgrading his Fort Bill 3rd to a 1st.
  The Aussie junior Dean Lucas cleaned Val Di Sole in 3:24.6 this arvo, upgrading his Fort Bill 3rd to a 1st.

Casey Brown of Whistler getting a bit buck wild on the second to last corner of the track. Look for Brown to be stepping onto the box sometime soon--she was just off by a hair over a half second today.
  Revelstoke local, Casey Brown, getting a bit buck wild on the second to last corner of the track. Look for Brown to be stepping onto the box sometime soon - she was just off by a hair over a half second today.

Pompon getting local approval for her podium finish.
  Pompon finds local approval for her podium finish. Fantastico!

 Mi scusi Mi scusi Rachel parts the Italian crowds on the way to a 3 43.8... Grazie
  'Mi scusi, Mi scusi!' Rachel parts the Italian crowds on the way to a 3:43.8... Grazie!

Before the day began few would have predicted Hart in 73rd Hill in 56th and MacDonald 26th......The big three biggest fallers of the finals.
  Before the day began few would have predicted Hart in 73rd, Hill in 56th and MacDonald 26th......The three biggest fallers of the finals.

Privateer Pons making the ground shake. It s a hotel instead of Guerilla Camp for the 18 year old Frenchman however.
  Privateer, Pons, making the ground shake. It's a hotel instead of Guerilla Camp for the 18 year old Frenchman, however.

  Remi's coming up! 11th here in Italia and faster than a 2nd hand Lamborghini.

  Unfortunately, things went positively 'Sam Hill' for Greg Williamson.

The hot seat with fewer riders left up top than you might expect.
  The hot seat, with far fewer riders left up top than you might expect.

6th for the Gwinner at 4 12.3 and what can only have been half a tyre nobble behind Troy.
  6th for Gwinner at 3:16.30 and what can only have been half a tyre nobble behind Troy also on 3:16.30.

  Troy was stoked to be back on top after almost missing a full year prior to Fort Bill. He told PB he wasn't full throttle either.

 Grig is the boy. He scooped a 1.25 bronze in the final for which he chose to wear his green Kabuto. Must be faster through the rocks.
  'Grig' is the boy. He scooped a +1.25 bronze in the final for which he chose to wear his green Kabuto. Must be faster through the rocks.

  Well what can we say...we tipped you. Bruni the powerhouse, at 19yo, coming to fruition.

So close but the cigar eluded the Devinci pilot for one more race.
  So close, but the cigar eluded the Devinci pilot for one more race.

5 seconds back Emmeline s halving the gap on Rach Pugin and Charre were then over 7 seconds behind the French girl.
  Now just 5 seconds back, Emmeline's halving the gap on Rach! Pugin and Charre were then a good 7 seconds behind the French girl.

  An absolute waste of liquids on a sweltering afternoon.

  Troy feeling the final five vibe.

  'That's it baby, bathe the Stevemeister'. A familiar crew welcome the newcomers, Gee leading by example.

It's a wrap here in the Dolomites, congrats to the Athertons and all the overachievers out there! Thanks for reading and look out for the Afterbang before the weeks out, to lay it all out on the table!
Must Read This Week

98 Comments

  • + 191
 Just bought 10 GT Fury's on eBay....gonna wait until mid season when the Atherton's seal their WC titles and then ill sell them for only $20k USD each.

Frame and rear shock only.
  • + 93
 Buy some sessions too. Gwin still helping them out!
  • + 12
 @ cuban-b i am literally laughing out loud, hahahahhahahahaa....
  • + 10
 Don't forget the falcon...that is where the REAL speed comes from. Wink
  • - 29
 Must suck to be Dan Atherton ATM... he better win the next EWS!
  • + 75
 I think being a highly successful pro mtb racer would rarely suck, to be honest
  • + 32
 Wish my sister could ride a bike as good as me , all she does is talk about Justin bieber all the time !!!
  • + 14
 I wouldn't be too excited to see just one Atherton on top but to see the brother/sister duo beating everyone and celebrating each others victories is pretty sweet. Good for them. Must have been a great fathers day for somebody out there.
  • + 5
 lucky Hill wasn't injured. still think he's got wins coming. smith's got next!
  • + 7
 Wish I could ride a bike as well as my sister.
  • + 2
 I'd rather have a Wilson Carbon. Hand made, CANADIAN MADE! Don't be disappointed in 2nd Stevie, as Rob said, "you had a smashing run"....lots of races left and back to back podium finishes still keeps you close in the points. It's not over just yet Atherton's :-) So far the two races this season have been awesome, Sunday was a great way to spend Father's Day. iPad connected to the TV, watching the race with my family, breakfast on the table.!
  • + 0
 I really don't think this would be the podium if the three major rider's wouldn't crash, hart, hill and brook! They had great start but very unfortunate !
[Reply]
  • + 79
 I was getting nervous for Sam Hill... Then he crashed and i cried a little on the inside. But looking forward to the next race in Vallnord. He won Qualifying there in 2009 with no chain then crashed in the final. Hope he can come out with a win.
  • + 7
 That was the day he was on Sunday ...
  • + 24
 2009 was his first year with Specialized.. He was on a Demo 8.
  • + 38
 Im right there with you...a small piece of my soul died when he crashed.
  • + 16
 His crash was unfortunate, but I'm still impressed by his pace. 2nd fastest 1st split (and 5th place qualification w/o chain) shows that he has the ability to beat these guys. Shouldn't be long now.
  • + 22
 It's better that he pushed it to the limit and chanced crashing than holding back and playing it safe :/
  • - 5
 not at all, overall points are very importan
  • + 17
 small tears are worth it when its for sam hill
  • + 1
 CRC, get the man a heavy duty chain, 7/8 speed will do.
  • + 1
 Hill is always at the limit, I don't that that's ever a consideration of his.
  • + 6
 I was more disappointed for Hill than I was for Gwin.... and that's saying a lot as I'm a red blooded 'Murican who loves Gwin. But boy did I really want to see Hill duplicate his 2008 (?) run, sans the crash. :-/
  • + 2
 Actually 10-11 speed chains are stronger than 7/8 speed ones. The shorter pin/link widths means less leverage to work against them and try and pop the links apart. Given that the plates themselves aren't any difference in thickness, having less of a span between them is a good thing. There was a chain review posted up a few months ago someplace (think it was bikerumour) that was based on race team mechanics replacement rates, and that 10 speed chains were last roughly two and a half times as long as 9 speed chains which themselves had lasted longer than 8 speed chains (when we transitioned from 8 speed cassette era to 9 speed at the top end). There's this myth that developed around the time singlespeeds became popular in the 90s, that because a single speed chain is strongest (it also is the heaviest though), then that must mean than fewer numbers of speeds for multi-gear chains must automatically be better too, even though they're actually designed different and are subject to much different loads than singlespeed chains never have to deal with.
  • + 2
 @deeeight that was very informative, however i think you would get marked down for babbling if this was an assessed piece
  • + 1
 i think this was the most suitable track for hill on the world cup circuit ( really rough and no pedals) and if he could win a wc it would be here. i havent yet seen the andorra track yet but i think VDS was where he had the most chances
[Reply]
  • + 29
 Solid article. This is gonna be a damn fine race season. So stoked for Bruni as well.
[Reply]
  • + 18
 The photo of Pompon is absolutely fantastic. Same with the Rachel Atherton champagne shot. Well done.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 is that really troy with the beard?
  • + 6
 I was surprised he could grow a beard!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 watching a UCI event, especially DH was electrifying., i got to talk to aaron gwin and monk, buy a shirt from steve peat, a chat with marc beaumont,minaar and mtbikes elite dh riders on the trails while taking their time to study which line to take. had our tent set up beside privateer races whom i really admire their passion for the sport.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Amazing images of an amazing race... one thing looks strange to me. On the tecnical parts the public was right there holding the bump tape. It not suposed to have a double tape to avoid public injuries? One of the pictures showing a fall the bike is going straight to the public that are runing from the bike... one Nationals here in Brazil I was waching the big final jump and a nasty fall sent a big DH bike straight to the womans head right at my side.. she went to the ambulance... thats scared me a lot...thats why I respecte double bump tapes thats put public far from a flying bike or rider...
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I really can't wait for DH races to get goin around here again. I'm really pumped right now and have no DH races to go to......well none that my gas tank will let me do.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I don't know who is more fun to watch ride, Brook Macdonald or Sam Hill. Sam was sure showing flashes of his old brilliance.
  • - 1
 Right up until he crashed. I was so rooting for him too, especially after 2008
[Reply]
  • + 7
 @ scary 1
Your one sick bastard
  • + 1
 His comment and my hillarious response disappeared..... Dayyum it!!!
  • + 2
 Mine too! Whatever probably best that , that stupid comment was removed
  • - 1
 To be fair: Rachel and Gee would do it if it would ensure the survival of the team. They are THAT professional.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 loic, troy and gee stoked as hell for them all, loic and troy the two juniors that moved up to elite very well and gee coming back to kicking ass again
  • + 6
 Wouldn't you be happy for Steve? His from your country!
  • + 5
 naw, that's for the canadian bandwagon dude, I'm here riding because I used to watch atherton and gracia vids getting stoked on them so naturally I'm stoked for gee and rachel, as for stevie no doubt he's a good rider but idk he just doesn't do it for me
  • + 1
 I'm stoked for Loic ... Lapierre Team might be a funniest yet one of the most fastest team on planet ... Blenki...Loic...Ragot ...of course well done Gee and Rachel. .. Gee is machine!
  • + 2
 Gee in my opinion is the best overall MTB athlete on the planet ever, to date. My reasoning is his 2010 season. Overall world cup champ and 2nd at rampage. He has been consistent ever since. It would be difficult to rule him out of a podium finish at rampage this year, and obviously he is the man to beat on the WC circuit currently. Not a single athlete comes close to matching Gees cross disciplinary skills.... On another note Smiths track side demeanor is depressing. A little to serious for this Canadian.
  • + 1
 cikudh you forgot vouilloz! and yeah lumpys I'd peg palmer as best overall action sports athlete, steve peat or vouilloz for best mtb but gee it's hard to say, because dan is pretty good in all diciplines
[Reply]
  • + 4
 ----> 27.5?

----> 29?

----> carbon frames?

marketing thrives...but the athertons simplify, clarify and spotlight things on track...
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Greg's not looking too terribly in shape is he? I'm thinking the Gee outworked him a bit this past off season.
  • + 4
 Still says something about dh being a head-game when their paces where pretty similar considering Gee is a roided out personified muscle for years now.
  • + 4
 It's the rainbow stripes curse! I think they get so busy with being a Wold Champ in the off season their focus and training suffers a little bit.
  • + 2
 Dunno about that boss, you can see his ribs, his body fat % isn't that high at all. Even professional road riders look like they carry a little extra padding round the belly area when they're leaning over, it's a healthy weight..
  • + 3
 Unless he loses his skin he will have some 'extra' when bending over.
  • + 0
 No doubt he's in decent shape for the average person. He just doesn't look elite professional athlete in shape to me. Maybe he's just stronger than he looks.
  • + 3
 I don't think Minnar has ever been the one to look all buff and ripped with his shirt off. It doesn't mean he isn't in shape.
  • + 3
 If he can stay on his bike down the val di sole course, then he is in shape.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Troy ... told PB he wasn't full throttle." - Sure, and he's there "just to have fun". Again.

Obviously an extremely talented rider, but I don't like him. He seems to be a big-mouth who tries to appear calm and humble because he was told to do so.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Nice headline - I should have patented the FIRSToLASTNAMEi naming protocol...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Congrats to Gee and GeeTee. Looking like its their season, but still much racing left to go. Troy putting hammer down on Gwin. Big name crashes, that right kiddies everyone crashes. If you not crashing your not pushing it.
  • + 1
 To be fair, Troy put the hammer down on Gwin by... 0 seconds! They finished on the same time.
  • + 1
 Yes indeed must be fair and balanced. Cross all you I's and dot your t's. Dont want any riffraff going on around here.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 what happened to Dan Atherton?
  • + 17
 Races enduro now. Maybe 4X as well.
  • + 1
 I presumed he would be racing the enduro race in France that CG was at
  • + 1
 He was at the launch of the new GT AM bikes in the USA.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Gee very good。帅的一B,目测看不懂这句
[Reply]
  • + 2
 STAY ON YA BIKE DANNYYY!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just wonder when was the last time GT made it on the very top of the podium?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I guess we know now why the Demo is called, the Demo... 'Cause it demolishes careers.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 in italian project is PROGETTO Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 they really do deserve to win tbh.....awesome pics btw ......COMON ATHERTOOOONS!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i can't wait till august to see Smith win at mont ste-Anne go canuck go !
  • + 1
 incorrect, he must repeat the threepeat at crankworx
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am from the USA and I am a Steve Smith fan. Bam
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Emmeline is hot
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Picture #11. SAFE!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the dinamic duo!!!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Too much #nipples this season.. LOL
[Reply]
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