Photo Epic and Video: Red Bull Hardline 2015

Sep 18, 2015
by Simon Nieborak  
Red Bull Hardline with Jeep returned to the hills of Mid Wales last weekend to take on Dan Atherton’s beast of a course that proved to be bigger and more technical than anything ever seen before in downhill mountain biking. Progression was once again the word on everyone’s lips as the riders spent the majority of the weekend getting used to the huge features and technical elements of the track before setting down qualifying times on Saturday. Former World Champion, Gee Atherton was untouchable on Saturday; setting down the fastest qualifying time ensuring that he was the final rider down the course in the finals, but a tyre mechanical meant that he had to limp down the course, leaving Ruaridh Cunningham to take the top step for 2015.

bigquotesThe course was incredibly tough; mentally and physically the toughest I have ever ridden. It was good to see everyone get down safely and I am delighted to take the win. - Ruaridh Cunningham, Unior Tools Team

RESULTS:

1st // Ruaridh Cunningham // 3.53.785
2nd // Joe Smith // 3.57.402
3rd // Bernard Kerr // 4.01.035
4th // Adam Brayton // 4.11.028
5th // Reece Wilson // 4.15.335
6th // Craig Evans // 4.20.701
7th // Alex Bond // 7.47.398
8th // Gee Atherton // 10.47.941

Views: 38,114    Faves: 214    Comments: 11


Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  Welcome to Wales, where beautiful vistas are wherever you look...

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  ...and wet, muddy ground almost everywhere you walk or ride!

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  Friday practice kicked off on a very positive note with a little bit of sunshine, but unfortunately it was a very windy day.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  The guys who were there for the first time, didn't lose time to mess around and they shredded hard from day one.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

bigquotesMan, this event is a great experience! I think, I'm the only one who does not ride World Cup circuit from the all riders invited this year and this automatically makes it harder for me. On top of that, Welsh riding conditions are very different to what I ride back home! So, it's hard, but also fun! Sick event! - Luis Lacondeguy.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  The drop looked intimidating to newly arrived riders, but after a several practice runs, it was actually one of their favourite parts on the course.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  Alex Bond going big!

bigquotesRed Bull Hardline 2015; the progression is really huge! Last year the weather was perfect and all the jumps worked perfectly. The consensus was to push harder this year and make things bigger. It was a week before the event when I started testing some stuff, working my way down the track - everything went perfectly - I jumped everything and then got to this one jump...and a small mistake meant I crashed and hurt my shoulder. Still, I'm stoked for all the riders who are here and massive respect to them. The event needs to find its niche in the market, so we will see how it goes. - Dan Atherton, Red Bull Hardline Creator.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
  Being down the pits area was a relief and time to work on the beaten bikes.

Every and each run counts when you are about to race at HardLine.
  Every and each run counts when you are about to race at Hardline.

bigquotesIt's the question everyone's been asking me - Have you ridden this track?! - Yes! I have ridden it a lot, but I just don't do the big jumps. But the track is rad and we have ridden here for years and years... It was my brother's dream to make an event here and it's amazing that it's here now! - Rachel Atherton, Atherton Racing

Fire kept riders dery and warm in the morning hours before riding started.
  Fire kept riders warm in the morning hours before riding started.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
As well as some helmet...
 and goggles

Shuttling with comfort and style.
  Shuttling with comfort and style.

It got muddy... very muddy
  It got muddy... very muddy!

No matter how they approached this section there was no easy line there...
  No matter how they approached this section, there was no easy line there.

Hard as a rock and fast as a rocket...
  Hard as a rock and fast as a rocket.

This jump was quite tricky to clear when wet but as soon as it dried up the guys have had so much fun on it
  This jump was quite tricky to clear when wet, but as soon as it dried up, the guys have had so much fun on it!

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Olly was Dan s right hand when it came to building the track. Also he gave 110 out of himself during the event in all maintenance works. Big up to this guy
  Olly was Dan's right hand when it came to building the track. Also, he gave 110% during the event in all maintenance works. Big up to this guy!

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

bigquotesMain challenge to build this track was the weather, so we tried to work around it. And we've been there since May! In terms of amount of work, the jump in the woods near to the top of the track was the hardest. We had to drag enough stone to make it big enough and a load of man hour work came with it, really. - Olly Davey, Red Bull Hardline Builder

...and that
  Just look at this...

Just look at this...
  ...and that!

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Let this be on of examples of how steep the track is.
  Let this be one of examples of how steep the track is.

The World Champs bike
There were some long queues for autographs.
  There were some long queues for autographs.

Remember kinds it s always important to check the line and see where your going to...
  Remember kids, it's always important to check the line and see where you're going to.

The riders took some lessons and tips from the G-Man.
  The riders took some lessons and tips from the G-Man.

The HardLine track was full of big and intimidating features. The bad weather didn t help but riders pushed themselves to their limits to make a good downhill spectacle to the gathered people.
  The Hardline track was full of big and intimidating features. The bad weather didn't help, but riders pushed themselves to their limits to make a good downhill spectacle to the gathered people.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Bondy shapes style out of this massive hip jump.
  Bondy shapes style out of this massive hip jump.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
bigquotesIt's quite a lot different to last year. I mean, the track is going in the same direction, as well as some of the natural sections are similar, but most of the jumps have been changed quite a lot. Basically the road gap is the same, but it was already perfect last year. Everything else is a bit bigger, wilder, so yeah, it's good fun and we all got through it all. And yesterday the rain came and changed all up completely again and we had to start (qualifying) from half-way down. Still, we made the most of it! - Joe Smith, Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof

bigquotesThe Hardline track is pretty next level. It's certainly the track where the best skilled riders can do it, at the moment, because obviously the jumps are a lot bigger than they used to be at the Word Cup and more of dirt jumps style. The track is difficult in itself, so there's multiple skills you need for this kind of a track as well as be brave enough to do them. I think there should be series like this for the riders, and I honestly think the organisers should pay riders to come and ride at these events. It would definitely mean more riders competing at these events. Big prize money is what they deserve and no one will come if they don't have to and there's a high risk of being injured. Riders are contracted big money to race at World Cup, so there has to be enough incentive for the guys who are taking the risk. Course designers will learn from experience what jumps can be like and they'll be a little period of where things will improve, but Dan's got amazing vision of what people can ride. What's here is right on the edge on what's possible at the moment. It just takes a different rider, not the fastest, but all round skilled, which Joe Smith on our team is. I think we should see more of these events! - Nigel Page, Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

bigquotesRed Bull Hardline is one of the scariest days of riding my bike, even of years of riding BMX contests and stuff. The track was not called 'Hardline' for no reason! For me it's a personal challenge, I want to ride from top to bottom and say that I have done it. Yeah, I crashed four times and hit my head three times and I'm feeling like after a car accident, right now, so I will chill and cheer the guys who are still racing. - Kye Forte, Team Wideopenmag

This bike was immaculate clean when the rider put the first stroke of the pedals at the top of the course. And this is how it looked like after one run...
  This bike was immaculately clean when the rider put the first stroke of the pedals at the top of the course. And this is how it looked like after one run.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

bigquotesI believe this is the future of downhill racing. - Adam Brayton, Hope Factory Racing

Gee looked super solid composed and extremely confident during the whole weekend. He was very hungry for the win.
  Gee looked super solid, composed and extremely confident during the whole weekend. He was very hungry for the win.

Gareth had an unpleasant crash at the very first day of the event. A separated shoulder took him out of the race...
  Gareth had an unpleasant crash at the very first day of the event. A separated shoulder took him out of the race.

The atmosphere among the riders was weirdly too relaxed before their departure to the summit...
  The atmosphere among the riders was weirdly too relaxed before their departure to the summit.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

Time for this final push of the event and hope to finish the season in one piece...
  Time for this final push of the event and hope to finish the season in one piece.

Even farmers wives came over to watch the race
  Even farmers' wives came over to watch the race!

Despite it s rather massive size this drop was one of most favourite features to the riders. And most definitely to the spectators.
  Despite its rather massive size, this drop was one of most favourite features to the riders. And most definitely to the spectators.

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015
Ruaridh Cunningham on his race for the win.
  Ruaridh Cunningham on his race for the win.

Gee coming into the finish line defeated by some small sharp rock... Hopes were very high for this man but looks like he s going to wait another long year to stand up for the 1 spot.
  Gee coming into the finish line defeated by some small, sharp rock... Hopes were very high for this man, but looks like he's going to wait another long year to stand up for the Number 1 spot.

Very unlucky mechanical to Gee once again... He was 30seconds into his final race run and this happened
  Very unlucky mechanical to Gee, once again... He was 30 seconds into his final race run and this happened!

HardLine Top 3
  Red Bull Hardline Top Three.

Well deserved sip of Champagne for the victors
  Well deserved sip of Champagne for the victors!

Photo Epic Red Bull Hardline 2015

bigquotesIt's a real shame for Gee to have a puncture, two years in a row... He has been showing us lines the whole weekend and I would not jump half of the stuff out there, if it wasn't for seeing him doing it first. I had a very good run for what it is and that was my very first, full run. I linked it all together! It's an awesome event and I pushed my own limits. - Ruaridh Cunningham, Unior Tools Team

And that s it Yet another HardLine goes into the history books.
  And that's it! Another Red Bull Hardline goes into the history books.

Long live British Downhill
  Long live British downhill racing.


MENTIONS: @redbullbike / @lunatyk / @numshi / @geebeebee / @GTBicycles / @trek / @ChainReactionCycles / @Nukeproofinternational



91 Comments

  • + 97
 Ruaridh Cunningham confirming that Gee is a grumpy, selfish... oh no wait - he actually sounds like a really nice guy to go riding with :p
  • + 17
 The kids loved Gee as well, check it out on my photo blog:
www.pinkbike.com/u/samjt/blog/redbull-hardline-2015.html
  • + 34
 I like Gee.
  • + 13
 just goes to show most of the hate is baseless. Im looking at you @team robot. You can follow Gee on one run at Hardine as punishment.
  • + 6
 #teamrobot for #stepupofhell NOW (on an ellsworth equipped with a Rux and CCDB)
  • + 1
 don't think people have been saying gee is grumpy and selfish....just boring and robotic when he talks to the media. either way guy seems a legend
  • + 13
 Because life is better with a bad guy, I really wanted Gee to wear the black hat and provide some kind of contrast to the rest of the WC guys & gals (who seemingly are all the best lads and lasses ever). Then I did an interview with BBC, and in chatting up the camera guy, found out he actually shot much of the "Gee vs. Falcon" video from a year or so ago. So I asked him if Gee was aloof and kind of a horses ass...No way the guy said, Gee was super cool to work with an actually quite funny. And with that, I confirmed pretty much anybody who races DH bikes for a living is pretty much a kick ass person...and it further motivated me to be a complete a*shole, mainly because I couldn't walk down a track like Hardline much less ride it...and eff anybody who can!!!! Smile
  • + 13
 Gee, give him a break...
  • + 1
 I like Gee, having said that, I think the problem with Gee is that we got oversaturated of the Anthertons back in 2009 and 2010, they were everywhere, magazines, Rampage, DH circuits and so on. Rachel has been able to dominate the sport and Gee most unconsciously want the same, in the times of Usain Bolt, Elena Isinbayeba, Michael Phelps, etc... why wouldn't he want to dominate the sport. I guess he worked towards that but the competition in men Men DH got fiercer. There were sometimes in which Gee wasn't too comfortable getting a second place or below and you could see it in the pictures of a couple of years back. Today's Gee is different though, I guess he's already accepted what he rooted for was not possible, second place, third place, 10th place in WC DH racing all of them are amazing accomplishments.
  • + 5
 Hard to not like anyone tough enough to brave those conditions on the daily and ride so fast. Always amazes me how fast some can go in the wet.
  • + 2
 So much drama, OMGee
  • + 30
 'The atmosphere among the riders was weirdly too relaxed before their departure to the summit.' The three faces I can see look like a mix between contemplating their mortality and making peace with the creator..
  • + 2
 Winning Racer on his run: Ya, I just wanted to get through with a smooth ride - that's the first time I've ridden the entire course in one go
  • + 23
 Piece of cake!... Hold my beer will ya, and phone an ambulance.
  • + 8
 Redbull aren't gonna be happy until they kill somebody at one of their sponsored events. Respect for hitting that shit tho guys. Risk vs Reward, hmmm.
  • + 19
 Dan arherton is a pretty solid builder. Yes he makes things big, but hes also ridden every inch of it too. Redbull have just made it possible for him to create his dream
  • + 4
 You're not at their ability level, so to gauge the risk in the same way they do would be impossible. Everyone has their limits, these guys just risk less than you think. Not to say they don't risk, but the level they are at makes it a risk worth taking apparently...
  • + 0
 Red Bull planning on having an event on a certain weekend sucks. If it's to hard to do because of weather, cancel and reschedule. Same with Rampage. Some of the best events of the yr should not be ruined by rain. Racing is a different matter. I know it rains over there a lot and that this course in the wet could be ok, just not boggy.
  • + 18
 So rad! Would love to see something like this in BC! Steve Smith edition?!
  • + 4
 Does Steve Smith have an older brother who could build it?
  • + 27
 They already do, its called the Mount 7 Psychosis Wink

They need to bring that back.
  • + 2
 This definitely needs to be made into a series. Fuck it replace the World Cup series with this.
  • + 14
 "I believe this is the future of downhill racing - Adam Brayton"
  • + 5
 This is definitely gonna become one of mtb's epic annual events. Rampage, JBC, Fest series an now Hardline
  • + 12
 Loving this event. Its like a cross between racing and fest
  • + 8
 Of course, before I had to retire from DH, I would of shown these nippers how to ride that track...

Very carefully, slowly and avoiding all the jumps/drops


But, seriously, that's amazing. Them guys are braver than Batman!
  • + 5
 ''Remember kids, it's always important to check the line and see where you're going to''
Aggghhh, I've f..ked up this one a couple of times....(its not only for kids!!!)
Damn, as a father of three kids I think its time to take this advice seriously.
Maybe I'm too old for this shit....
f*ck, no I'm not ;-)
  • + 4
 This could be the yin to Rampages yang. Seems like Rampage attracts a few racers every year from the WC circuit, and they're fun to watch for totally different reasons than the free rider guys. I could see some of those guys crossing over into this for the same reasons. I hope it blows up, it's pretty rad to watch so far.
  • + 7
 A F#cking brilliant roundup.
  • + 3
 Is it just me who thinks that the 'highlights' are a bit of a poor show?considering they'd have filmed hours of footage and you only get 7 minutes of not a lot of the course being shown or what the riders did etc ????
  • + 2
 The issue was, 1 Camera man + bad weather = riders only riding certain bits of the track at certain times + 8 riders means a lot of standing around hoping riders are gona ride the section of track you are on unlike a DH WC where they come past every 30 seconds... with the track that gnarly its hard to get to spots in time for the riders to pass by, on top of that they all sessioned together which led to 8 shots from exactly the same angle.. bit boring really...
  • + 0
 I was there on race day, there were cameras all over the place, 1 pro looking camera guy at each big feature so not sure what happening with that or why we only got this so far.
  • + 1
 Or they could have not shared any video at all. Be thankful for what you got vs bitchin about what you didn't.
  • + 1
 Yup they were all RedBull production team guys, this was shot for/by Pinkbike ..sure redbulls vid will drop soon
  • + 1
 Da fuq you on?
  • + 3
 So its decided. I'm going to this next year. Just looks incredible. I'm there. What an edit too, fucking loved the Fu Manchu! Great work with the pics and video. Did it justice!!
  • + 3
 I just peed a little in my pants seeing how big that road gap was. The POV video that Gee did does not do that thing justice...
  • + 4
 'Welcome to Wales, where beautiful vistas are wherever you look...' And evil looking jagged rocks.
  • + 4
 Made this little edit see what you think.

youtu.be/NYg3GnCJe1A
  • + 4
 Dan Atherton to become chief world cup course designer !
  • + 2
 Im starting to like this as much as world cups mabye even more, the RB Hardline is so sick!
  • + 1
 I can't help think that this event would be better if it wasn't a race. It looks like they all had the most fun on practice day and who really cares who wins?
  • + 1
 What a friggin hard,complex, mind/ body draining,phyco course! Sooo good!! Way to compete....ALL OF YOU GUYS, make this a regular please .
  • + 2
 Is it just me or is the "gray" setting on this video at about 10+ ?
  • + 1
 People often put down the Welsh and the French. Anyone that puts-down a person without knowing them IS the real arsehole.
  • + 2
 Some of that stuff- even Jesus would wept at...
  • + 0
 Sucks about Dan breaking himself again...it might be an idea for him to dig less and ride (and rest) more, might decrease the injury rate?
  • + 2
 Lars, get yer Klunker down that track !
  • + 1
 Scary but amazing. Imagine the carnage if this was the WC DH standard, but also imagine how riders would progress...
  • + 1
 Fu Manchu-Saturn III. Excellent choice. Loved the editing and some fantastic shots of courageous riding.
  • + 1
 I haven't seen any footage of that big step up just out of the woods? did nobody clear that?
  • + 1
 Nope. no one hit that thing.
  • + 2
 Awesome. Just awesome! : )
  • + 1
 I haven't seen any footage of that big step up just out of the woods? did nobody clear that massive thing?
  • + 1
 Did anybody hit the jeep renegade jump?
  • + 1
 Killer race. And, that whip at 6:05!!!
  • + 1
 good edit great music, almost worth the wait, scary stuff
  • + 1
 Fest series should have a contest here
  • + 1
 That course in the wet? Hell to the naw!
  • + 1
 Why not a two run format? It's not a cup...give the people what they want!
  • + 1
 Did Gee hit that shit riding a rim???!
  • + 1
 the badest dh course ever! unreal
  • + 2
 0:52 David Beckham?
  • + 2
 Lol... Exactly what I thought, then thought nobody else would notice.
  • + 1
 David Huck'em... I thought too there was a strong resemblance to DB- he must've been perfecting his 'brooding' pre run Wink
  • + 1
 Sex symbol, Pro DH... What's the difference...? lol
  • + 1
 @adustytrunkmonkey ...that would be american design,Taiwan made session
  • + 1
 testament to the bikes as well as the riders
  • + 1
 I always love to see bmx riders like Kye on the big bike!
  • + 1
 now i just want to go huck it
  • + 0
 1000 bucks says Lacondeguy, Agassiz, Strait, Zink can finish Hardline... its Freeride
  • + 1
 Sickest Race ever!!!
  • + 2
 In the wet?
  • + 0
 Not even Gee can do the wet. Strait did some DH Racing plus hes done 9 rampages won 2 I bet he can kick everyones ass...
  • + 1
 They definitely could! The question is; would they be as fast as the world cup guys? Lacondeguy, Strait, and Zink used to race DH...
I feel Andreu could give them a run for their money
  • + 3
 Alot of people have been saying that bit these events are quite different. Those guys certainly have the balls to hit big jumps but everything else is much different. There are some really technical sections of track here that even the best DH racers have trouble with. Events like rampage are sick but but they aren't to technical overall. The jumps and drops at rampage are massive but the lines are pretty buffed out. Those free ride guys I'm sure could rude the track but I'm not sure they have an advantage over the DH guys on a track like this.
  • + 3
 Andreu' s top section of rampage14' was the most technical drop in ever... Almost trials bike like... Zinks and straits first section was mental it doesnt get anymore technical, steep and exposed than that. Id say none of the Hardline riders could do these three sections. Im not an expert all im saying is they built the best DH track we have ever seen and only 8 guys get to race it? bring these 4 guys next year and it will be a better show all im saying.
  • + 1
 anyone knows the name of this song?
  • + 1
 Fu Manchu - Saturn III
  • + 1
 Pretty much all around amazing!
  • + 0
 Adam Brayton with a V10 instead of a Demo ? well what can we say ?
  • + 8
 Could be Craig Evans - he's on a V10 riding for Hope Tech.
  • + 2
 Adam was on his Demo race bike, as AirdropBikes mentioned the V10 was Craig's bike.
  • + 2
 Awww okay , my mistake . Thanks for the note guys Wink
  • + 1
 such a sick course!!
  • + 1
 Sikkkkkkkkkk!!
  • + 0
 WE WANT A WC on this TRACK !! (take note uci)
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