Every October a touch of madness reaches the mountains of Ireland. They turn the conventions of the traditional passtime of fox hunting on its head. Instead of foxes and hounds, it's mountain bikers; the fox chases the hound and to make things even tougher, the fox is two-times DH World Champion, Gee Atherton. This isn't a gentle PR event either, talk to the locals and it's clear that they aren't shy on course, and neither is Gee. It's a mass-start, full-contact battle from the top of the mountain all the way down to the town below.

Morning sign-in for practice.
Morning sign-in for practice.

The riders were ferried up to the top in adapted farm trailers.
The riders were ferried up to the top in adapted farm trailers.

People did enjoy this event honest but early mornings are early mornings.
People did enjoy this event, honest, but early mornings are early mornings.

The shuttles couldn t get riders quite all the way up to the top - there was still a pretyy good push pedal above the dropoff point.
The shuttles couldn't get riders quite all the way up to the top - there was still a pretty good push/pedal above the drop-off point.

The track starts at the top of the mountain and in around six minutes on the full Sunday track descends to the town below.
The track starts at the top of the mountain and in around six minutes (on the full Sunday track), descends to the town below.

Practice started Friday.
Practice started Friday. Photo - Sebastian Marko

The clouds rolled around the mountains all weekend making a misty backdrop to the action.
The clouds rolled around the mountains all weekend, making a misty backdrop to the action.

In practice Gee was getting some time in slicing through the field.
In practice Gee was getting some time in, slicing through the field.

The top of the course is a purpose-built course through the clear-cut upper slopes of the mountain.
The top of the course is a purpose-built course through the clear-cut upper slopes of the mountain.

Effortless style from the 2x DH World Champ.
Effortless style from the 2x DH World Champ. Photo - Sebastian Marko

With this many riders on track you need to be creative looking for your lines to go where the others aren t.
With this many riders on track, you need to be creative looking for your lines, to go where the others aren't.

Gee Atherton of the United Kingdom performs at the Red Bull Foxhunt in Rostrevor Northern Ireland on October 9 2016.
Gee was evaluating a new GoPro prototype...

Come Sunday afternoon riders pushed up to the very summit of the mountain for the big show. Photo - Sebastian Marko
Come Sunday afternoon, riders pushed up to the very summit of the mountain for the big show. Photo - Sebastian Marko

The skies were ominious as riders lined up but the weather played nice. Photo - Sebastian Marko
The skies were ominious as riders lined up, but the weather played nice. Photo - Sebastian Marko

Gee gets view of his quarry. Photo - Sebastian Marko
Gee gets view of his quarry. Photo - Sebastian Marko

The bugle blows to start the hunt...
The bugle blows to start the hunt... Photo - Sebastian Marko

Chaos ensues. Photo - Sebastian Marko
Chaos ensues. Photo - Sebastian Marko

There was a line there somewhere... Photo - Sebastian Marko
There was a line there somewhere... Photo - Sebastian Marko

From the top of the moutain there was a more traverse-y section into the race track.
From the top of the mountain there was a more traverse-y section into the race track.

Carnage is the only word for it.
Carnage is the only word for it.

Once riders left the top of the mountain they rejoined Saturday s course and it was all-out carnage as riders sped down the wide fast track.
Once riders left the top of the mountain, they rejoined Saturday's course and it was all-out carnage as riders sped down the wide, fast track.

There was no time to take in the view once the race started.
There was no time to take in the view once the race started.

Colin Ross beat Gee for the third time in a row - holding a ten second lead across the finish line.
Colin Ross beat Gee for the third time in a row - holding a ten second lead across the finish line.

Eyes on the prize for Gee. The speed he tore through the field at was terrtifying and really highlighted how much faster the top WC boys are than us mere mortals.
Eyes on the prize for Gee. The speed he tore through the field at was terrtifying and really highlighted how much faster the top WC boys are than us mere mortals.

Apparently brakes were an optional extra you could simply pinball your way down off the other riders.
Apparently brakes were an optional extra, you could simply pinball your way down off the other riders.

Some riders went completely off-piste riding metres clear of the track.
Some riders went completely off-piste, riding metres clear of the track.

There was plenty of celebration for Colin s victory.
There was plenty of celebration for Colin's victory.

This was not an uncommon site.
This was not an uncommon site.

The smile of a survivor. Despite the carnage and the tough track there were almost unanaimous smiles at the bottom.
The smile of a survivor. Despite the carnage and the tough track, there were almost unanaimous smiles at the bottom.

Your top three men - Colin Ross Gee Atherton and Dave Egan.
Your top three men - Colin Ross, Gee Atherton and Dave Egan.

Gee was getting the laps in in practice.
Gee was getting the laps in in practice. Photo - Sebastian Marko
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65 Comments

  • + 72
 Gee that's alot of red riders
  • + 9
 *rad Big Grin
  • + 20
 Holy sh#te !!!!!! What an event. Brilliant weekend. Brilliant weather. Brilliant track. Not toooo many wrecked. Weekend warriors and normal joe soaps getting to race down the mountain with world cup racers, past and present. Gee Atherton. Rob Warner. Jacob Dickson. And Colin Ross with his 3rd win in a row. And a good win at that. Well done to everyone involved. Roll on next year.
  • + 10
 They need to start a foxhunt series, it'd be lethal!!
  • + 3
 They did the same with Rachel Atherton and Simon Andreassen
  • + 3
 @trek81615: Yes i know, but I mean have a series. So have 4 rounds or something, and there is a series champion, with riders getting points for each round or whatever
  • + 9
 Why pinkbike is not posting Rampage articles? What's happening? Am I missing anything here?
  • + 4
 There's a Red Bull Media Blackout this year, so that could be why? I'm pretty happy to wait for high quality content anyway
  • + 1
 I know, it's killing me!
  • + 2
 @orientdave: thanks man. That helps! They basically did a compilation of instagram posts. Great.
  • + 6
 why is gees stack height like 5 metres?!
  • + 5
 might be used to his DH bike
  • + 4
 Seems to work okay for him.
  • - 1
 Low-rise bar and what looks like 35mm of spacers? Get a taller bar Gee!
  • + 1
 I would have thought it's to lean him back a bit so the enduro/trail bike handles the steeps better, since he doesn't have to worry about climbing to the next stage after.
  • + 1
 Attack position to shred those steep steep rolling grass hills.
  • + 1
 Is Gee fully healed up after this seasons' crashes? Would love to see him perform to his full potential next season.

I wonder what their sponsor Jeep thinks of all these Mitsubishi jerseys. Would they get a different car sponsor again?
  • + 4
 Anyone know what bike Gee man was riding?
  • + 4
 Remedy I think.
  • + 4
 Looks like the 2017 Slash
  • + 1
 @SladeTheBlade: Look like you could be right.. Well spotted Wink
  • + 6
 Don't think it's a slash. The bottom shock mount looks different (Full Floater-ish) I think. Could be wrong.
  • - 9
flag utah-shredder (Oct 9, 2016 at 20:11) (Below Threshold)
 i think it was the new specialized camber. wait no, perhaps it was a giant reign
  • + 8
 Full Floater 650 wheels - Remedy
  • + 1
 @smsmauney: yeah I thought the same thing
  • - 1
 2016 slash. No knock block, 650B, full floater with 2017 MY colors by chance.
  • + 0
 @nicolai12: And a super stupid rear brake routing... hmmmm
  • + 2
 Its 2017 Remedy and its got a knock block!
  • + 2
 Knock Block: solving problems that didn't exist or need to exist since 2017....!
  • + 1
 @BobChicken: with all due respect knock block is a legit solution (even though Treks motivation for it is dumb as hell - that bit about straight down tube being stiffer...) I messed up the top of each single frame I owned and a few brake cables. German Acros makes such thing since a long time and I should have been wiser to get it.
  • + 1
 It looks like a Remedy as it has the straight shot downtube but it doesn't have the protector around the fork contact area which is standard on a Remedy, also the Remedy uses a trunnion mounted shock which that one isn't using, pictures of the shock extended look a little long for a standard remedy length and considering its not trunnion mounted so all the shock is between the eyes it should be shorter than normal not longer.

Thought it was maybe a session with single crown forks to steepen the head angle at touch but the side bumpers / cable routing isnt right. I would love to know what it is but I do know its not a Slash!
  • + 1
 @elmo20: wish they would show it from the other side. The brake routing is terrible... I still want a Remedy though.
  • + 4
 Fantastic weekend. Most fun I've had on the bike in ages
  • + 1
 Nice! Did you beat Gee?
  • + 1
 @zonoskar:

Ha ha. No chance. He was miles ahead. Only one guy beat him!
  • + 4
 It is actually unbelievable he can pass that many people in six minutes!
  • + 0
 To be fair he gets ahead of 80% of the field in the first 30 seconds. Everyone else gets caught up in mass carnage whereas he gets a clean run to the singletrack
  • + 1
 If you don't get onto the singletrack at bottom of open mountain next front its a stand in queue for 10 minute job.. Theres then a climb after that that he gets good few on before the drop down into the built trail.
  • + 3
 Fair play to Colin Ross. Class job!
  • + 1
 These pictures are awesome! They show a great sense of how vast the countryside is! Definitely makes me add this to my list of places to ride!
  • + 3
 Does Gee have enough steerer spacers?
  • - 1
 I noticed that too... always thought that makes an otherwise dialed in bike look so half-assed.

There's this cool invention few people seem to know about called a 25 degree rise stem. Don't know why more people don't use a combination of these and a bit of rise in the bars to arrive at the correct bar height / hand position.

Looks super clean and works perfectly. I'll leave a 10mm / 3/8" spacer that I can flip either top or bottom of the stem for fine tuning.
  • + 1
 Shh... It's forbidden.
  • + 2
 @DirtGuru2: the bars look like a low rise bar too. Seems like you could just get a bar with more rise and use less spacers
  • + 8
 are you all suggesting that a top class world cup rider who is known for being meticulous is his setup (not minnar level maybe), could have had his sponsors set it up better for himself following hours/days time in the saddle on that bike, if he'd only consulted pinkbike first?

good job hos tyre labels and valves line up otherwise he'd be in forma slating on that as well.
  • + 1
 Its a Remedy which in that size (19.5" I think ) has a pretty low stack (596mm) even by current stupidly low standards. That bike comes with a 27.5mm Bontrager bar although maybe its been switched for a 15m rise bonty bar. Either way he needs some significant spacers on that stem... Personally I wouldn't go for a high rise Bonty bar as the rise angle is high on them (like many bars) and feels unnatural

Perhaps bike designers will start to take note of Pro guys (Minnaar) who are having to demand much bigger headtubes and still having to use riser bars/long stems and in DH stem plates as well to get bars at a decent height.

EWS Curtis keane who is 6' is running a 29er Enduro with a 622 stack (more like 630 as he has somehow mutated a 29eer fork to 170mm travel) and has big rise bars and a ton of stem spacers.
  • + 3
 Where's the POV video from Gee?
  • + 2
 The top three men all look identical to me..
  • + 2
 Sharp like a HDR snapseed :v
  • + 1
 Is there any POV from Gee?
  • + 1
 Anyone know the size of Gee's trail bike?
  • + 1
 I don't like it rough
  • + 1
 where are the beagles:-)
  • + 1
 Gee on fire!
  • - 3
 That last picture must have made some photographers reach for tissues and lube cause dayum
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