Finals - Red Bull Hardline 2016

Sep 20, 2016
by Simon Nieborak  
Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals


Yes, the infamous and morbidly fascinating, Redbull Hardline event, has been and gone for another year and guess what? Rowdy wasn't even the word...

Finals day was crunch-time and riders had to make the call in the toss-up between self-preservation and a comfortable last journey home versus going for gold - or more accurately in this case - a big, old, chunk of wood and steel. Of course, some things in professional-level mountain biking can't be done cautiously and suffice to say Hardline is one such example, where hesitation or the slightest lack of commitment could mean... well... going home in a box. Certainly a little severe-sounding, but despite some monstrous crashes over the 3 days of riding, thankfully no one was hurt beyond a couple of 'casual' broken bones and ligaments and Dan Atherton and the riders continue to tune into exactly the right level of 'gnar'.

However high the stakes may have been, those still in the running put on quite a show for the impressive UK crowds. In spite of a nasty over-the-bars leading the practice train on the wet grass, first thing in the morning, Gee Atherton finally put down a race run after 2 years of failed attempts. In the end he would almost steal the show, but was edged of the podium by the Cumbrian in green, the Scottish defending champion and ultimately the 'Stoppie Sunday' specialist himself..



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The mist rolling up the Welsh hills provided some of the most stunning views of a long summer of travel across the globe.
The mist rolling up the Welsh hills provided some of the most stunning views of a long summer of travel across the globe.
The crowds built up significantly over the day with an estimated 2000 spectators in attendance for race runs... Where were you
The crowds built up significantly over the day with an estimated 2000 spectators in attendance for race runs... Where were you?

An incredible inversion layer enveloped the valley first thing in the morning.
An incredible inversion layer enveloped the valley first thing in the morning.

Fans of all ages were out on the hill enjoying the action. These guys had the best seat in the house parked up in front of the dirty ferns step up.
Fans of all ages were out on the hill enjoying the action. These guys had the best seat in the house, parked up in front of the dirty ferns step up.
Adam Brayton could count on his own brother s cheering as well.
Adam Brayton could count on his own brother's cheering as well.

Here s a little reminder in case you d forget if Hardline is aa hardcore track to ride through...
Here's a little reminder in case you'd forgot, Hardline is a hardcore track to ride through.

Gee took another big digger in practice unfortunately hurting his shoulder just one more time. Determined to finally put in a finals run here at Hardline he trucked on and came less than a second off the podium.
Gee Atherton showing exactly how colossal the road gap really is... Bear in mind he and Dan had to pioneer this stuff first after course construction when they would have had to guess the speed and pop for every feature.

Gee had a bad luck in the morning of the finals. He crashed and had a mechanical not to mention his already injured and weak shoulder. Yet this amazing race is always giving his best from start to finish line. He set a bar very high and came very close to the podium.
Despite a huge crash in the morning onto his already injured and weak shoulder, Gee still set the bar very high and came very close to the podium.
Ric Mclaughlin has been doing great interview all season long at the World Cup series. He couldn t miss this one out for anything
Ric Mclaughlin has been doing great interviews all season long at the World Cup series. He wasn't going to miss this one out for anything!

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Aussie, Graeme Mudd slotted this gnar-fest in at the end of his season before the long flight home.

Aussie Graeme Mudd dives down into the last rocky switchbacks before the finish field.
Mudd dives down into the last rocky switchbacks before the finish field, arriving to his great relief, with all limbs still well attached.

Dan Atherton relieving himself very publicly mid-run.
Dan Atherton relieving himself very publicly, mid-run. No time for manners on a Hardline run.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Dan tackling the brutal obstacles he helped to install personally.

Entering the finish area like a boss.
Entering the finish area like a boss.

Dan is the man Thanks to this guy we can witness a true progression in the sport.
Home safe and dry.
Brotherhood at it s best.
Brotherhood at its best.

bigquotesI was pretty stressed over the weekend... We put a lot of time and effort into this event. For me Red Bull Hardline is about progression in the sport - Dan Atherton

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Alex Bond came down off the mountain with a solid run and ended in the 12th place. Still, he has got some homework to be done before 2017 as he blamed it on his fitness.

Luckily Mark Wallace is used to going massive at home on Vancouver island.
As Mark Wallace pointed out, the jumps and drops aren't so much 'features' here like on a normal DH track, but better all described as 'stunts'. Luckily he is used to going massive at home on Vancouver island.

Styling it into the light.
Brook MacDonald styling it into the light.

MacDonald launches out of the forest looking for lost time after a crash up top.
Macdonald launches out of the forest looking for lost time after a crash up top.

Taylor Vernon qualifed 4th and managed to get through without a single crash... Props to young Welshman.
Taylor Vernon qualified 4th and managed to get through the entire weekend without a single crash... Props to the young Welshman.

Joe Smith looked comfortable out on the Hardline savagery from the start here on Thursday and held it down for a solid mid-pack position on the big day.
Smith looked comfortable out on the Hardline savagery from the start here on Thursday and held it down for a solid mid-pack position on the big day.
Joe Smith railing one of the tighter turns on the course.
Joe Smith railing one of the tighter turns on the course.

Eddy Masters getting sideways for the people...
Ed Masters getting sideways for the people at the Dirty Ferns step-up...

bigquotesMy first thought about the track was... "Oh, s%*&t! It's pretty big!" Not really stuff we get to ride on an everyday basis, we're getting out of the comfort zone, but that's kind of cool - Ed Masters

Only a several more meters and those burning lungs and legs can rest after a killer race.
Only several more meters and those burning lungs and legs can rest after a killer race.

The man they call Sik Mik in a rare airborn moment with his hands still attached to the bars.
The man they call 'Sik Mik' in a rare airborn moment with his hands still attached to the bars..

Mick Hannah rampaging through the gnar of the final woods for 6th place.
Sik Mik dropping onto what s probably the courses harshest landing.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Mick Hannah dropping onto what's probably the harshest landing on track and rampaging through the gnar of the final woods for 6th place.

bigquotesHardline is very cool! Definitely a bit scary, but everything is built really well. It's bigger to what we used to ride, but I think, once you're getting into it, it's actually really fun - Mick Hannah

George Brannigan sending the huge waterfall jumps pefectly on route to 5th place just over 6 seconds back.
George Brannigan sending the huge waterfall jumps perfectly on route to 5th place, just over 6 seconds back.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
By this time in the race, Gee was looking unbeatable. He was looking up the mountain with high hopes for a spark of good luck for his favour in this event.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Gas to Flat holding it wide open through the last turns in the forest, headed for an epic 3rd place finish.

Adam Gas to Flat Brayton getting sideways like a... erm... kestrel for 3rd place.
Brayton hitting the finish jump and getting sideways like an... erm... kestrel.

Cunningham knew with so many more big names on the scene this year he s need to pull out all the stops to keep the mighty 1 plate.
Ruaridh Cunningham knew with so many more big names on the scene this year, he'd need to pull out all the stops to keep the mighty '1' plate.
Ruaridh Cunningham going ninja on the bigger of the two wall jumps.
Cunningham going ninja on the bigger of the two wall jumps.

The defending champ Cunningham pinning it through the turns high above the valley floor.
The defending champ, pinning it through the turns high above the valley floor.

Despite a valiant effort a few mistakes would cost Ruaridh and he fell short by 2.4 seconds. 2nd place is never a bad score however.
Despite a valiant effort a few mistakes would cost Ruaridh and he fell short by 2.4 seconds.
Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
2nd place is never a bad score, however!

Bernard Kerr charging across the upper slopes of the battlefield.
Bernard Kerr charging across the upper slopes of the battlefield.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Bernard Kerr pushing through the timing beam for the big W .

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Winters spent smashing the biggest hucks of New Zealand's south island clearly paying off.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
Victory is sweet; an incredible end to Kerr's best race season to date.
Happy winner with a well deserved victory run.
The happy winner with a well-deserved victory.

Red Bull HardLine 2016 - Finals
2016 men of the mountain here in Dinas Mawddwy.

The Podium shot...coming to a social network near you soon.
The Podium shot... coming to a social network near you soon.

Champagne showers for Kerr Cunningham and Brayton.
Champagne showers for Kerr, Cunningham, and Brayton.
Redbull Hardline over and out.
Red Bull Hardline, over and out.

Andreu Lacondeguy commented this guy s achievement right on point - Boss .
Andreu Lacondeguy's comment on this guy's achievement was right on point - "Boss".



101 Comments

  • 190 0
 Well done Red Bull for having the best live feed of the year with so many camera's on track,it was so good to see every section of the track.congrats to every one that have raced & survived this brutal DH track.
  • 76 0
 Agreed!! This event had better coverage top to bottom than any of the world cup races.
  • 7 1
 @SeaHag: Maybe because we were watching replays Big Grin though covarage was still goood but rob warner doesn't sounds like rob warner in live stream
  • 4 4
 @AdamOdh: they were saying the same thing over and over again. Was almost going to do mute
  • 17 1
 Best online DH event I've ever seen. Thanks to the Athertons, Redbull, riders, and everyone involved. Next level event.
  • 14 3
 I just wanted to point out that this track has been designed in an open field for the large portion of it while a regular WC track takes place mostly in the woods. In this way you can cover more length of the course with fewer cameras.
  • 4 1
 Makes UCI footage look like crap.
  • 8 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd love to know the amount of cameras they had for this event against the last 2 WCs. It felt like a lot more and all the big hits were covered. I find my self saying I wish they had a camera here or there for the WCs.
  • 63 1
 Gee take's some s%$# from the masses for not being the media's dancing monkey or "bro" enough...but the man is a legend and continues to ride his bike at a level only the smallest percentage of riders can ever dream of. The way he showed up, missed qualifying and then competed with a bum shoulder... legend.
  • 14 0
 And probably guinea pigged half of it!
  • 2 1
 don't get me wrong I agree with what you're saying but it wasn't like he just rocked up, missed qualies and sent a race run. The Atherton's have been training here for years. Gee and Dan both know the track like the back of their hands.
  • 3 0
 @Garpur44: It wasn't so much the "riding blind", which I agree wasn't really the case. It was more the riding one of the most demanding tracks ever built with speed and style with a pain reducing injection in his shoulder. I think unfortunately the quality of Gee's riding often takes a backseat to peoples opinions of his personality and social appeal.
  • 48 3
 Just look at the photos. Everyone is watching the race through their phones! You've driven there to watch some of the world's best hit the toughest DH track ever and you're watching it on a 4" screen?!
  • 24 4
 well duh, how else will your lil internet buddies know you were there if it wasn't posted on Instagrams!?
  • 1 2
 Well the fans want to consume as much of the action(content) as possible. Personally i wiuld get a headache staring at small screen for too long. Was there a big screen at finish area?
  • 3 14
flag Ohlalaa (Sep 20, 2016 at 10:02) (Below Threshold)
 There was no livestream. They can't have been watching the race on their phones. Nice rant anyway...
  • 13 0
 @Ohlalaa: the point, you missed it, massively. He's talking about people taking photos/videos rather than savouring the moment with their own eyes.
  • 6 0
 I always think the same thing about anything live, concerts, festivals. Just enjoy it. As soon as you get home there is real coverage of it taken by professionals at a million times better quality than yours and you can just save the videos and photos if you would like to keep them.
  • 1 1
 @Allergysix: he stated 'watching race from phones'...so maybe its cool to watch portion(if live) that u cant see standing there.
But ya, usually a waste to take photos amd vid with mobile as ur footy wont be great, then u missed the live experience.
  • 1 0
 So if everybody agrees it's lame... Who does it?
  • 1 0
 @PhattyMatt: I am sometimes photographing grass roots DH races. When I am injured or bike is out. I know that this is like: either you are working and getting a best shots, or you deciding, screw it, and you are enjoying the atmosphere and race and getting just a few shots which are still great. Point I would like to make, live events arw the best live. Not live on TV or any media
  • 31 5
 Amazing event. Truly spectacular to see what the top guys are capable of when you put them on fierce course like that. Be great to see some of the freeride guys in the mix. Would be very interested to see Zink, Semenuk et al on this trail.
  • 18 7
 Exactly - FMB guys should be invited - it's clearly a mix of both disciplines and those guys would bring a new dimension and widen the audience as well. Rampage is rampage, but it's not up against the clock. Hardline could mix the two.
  • 6 3
 yes I agree, they'll have to mix it up next year anyway unless they change venues as its difficult to see what else they can do to this track. I'd love to see Zink and Lacon and Semunuk got down n dirty in mid wales. Perhaps Zink could build a little kicker on the road Gap?
  • 4 1
 On the redbull Live Stream they showed a very Short Clip of someone snapping their frame (think it was blue).
Anyone know who that was?
  • 1 2
 @wheeled: That was Martin Hawyes i think.
  • 19 4
 @neimbc: we have enough slopestyle and trick event shit. Just let the DH race be a DH race.
  • 1 0
 @wheeled: that was brage or something i think, can't quite remember his name, only 17 years old though!
  • 1 1
 @wheeled: yeah it was mark Wallace dude.
  • 2 0
 @Ziph: it wasn't mark wallace
  • 7 1
 Would be interesting to see Semenuk, Vink etc ride the course, but a lot of the other Fest types wouldn't cope. Lacondeguys rocked up the first year from memory and didn't last the first day of practice. Being able to send it doesn't necessarily correlate with DH skills, and there was a fantastic video from earlier in the year featuring a few freeride bros at Les Gets Crankworx looking like absolute hacks next to the Vanzacs and 50:1 boys.
  • 1 0
 @JMBMTB: in the vid it was brage vestavik but I'm sure it was mark Wallace who broke his bike and got sent a new one.I was answering the initial question.
  • 1 0
 @2bigwheels: I'm not saying add the slopestyle stuff and trick crap - just invite the guys to ride it (their fans will watch) I bet Strait would love to ride it.
  • 1 0
 Nico vink was invited but couldn't make it
  • 2 1
 @2bigwheels: Oh mat eh last thing I'm suggesting is that they turn it into a slopestyle contest. I'm more saying that this is a unique kind of event that could pip the skills of those big line freeride guys (many of whom have a background in DH) with world cup racers. Would just be excellent to watch.
  • 2 0
 don't forget Gwin, it's a Redbull event after all
  • 1 0
 @Benlow: got a link for that vid?
  • 18 0
 Need a gif of Sick Micks no hander please
  • 2 0
 It was huge!
  • 19 3
 Great live feed coverage! By far better than any World Cup
  • 9 2
 Wasn't a live feed.
  • 6 3
 @ryan-82: but it did only have a couple of hours delay, so really what you saw is what was filmed, not an edit any any means, just enough time maybe to cut out the crap/delays, but yeah, not live but pretty much almost
  • 3 0
 @makdthed: I was there and the 'not live' feed was almost identical to what was shown on screen at the venue so I don't see why they couldn't pull it off live.
  • 1 0
 @doek: maybe just playing cautious, or there could be fees payable for LIVE feed?? but I would say playing it safe, just in case .. you .. someone went splat!! .. but, luckily, it all went well - awesome coverage, tonnes better presentation than the previous years for sure.

What was it like seeing it all live, seems many were camped out at the road gap, how does that look in real life as opposed to on the feed
  • 3 0
 @makdthed: More likely because a live feed would require satellite uplink in most cases, and satellite is by far the most expensive way to transmit data. More than likely they recorded the race, then ran a hard drive with footage over to the nearest place they could get a robust wire or fiber internet connection to upload to their servers on the net.
  • 1 0
 @makdthed: i went last year and its shocking your not allowed all the way up to the top to the renegade kicker. Thats where i wanted to be! The road gap is big but built that good it just flows when you roll of it????????
  • 1 0
 We went up for it and the coverage was pretty awesome, they pretty much had a camera on every part of the course!
  • 11 0
 Took the family and had probably the best day at any sporting event I have ever been to. My 10 year old lad and I climbed up to the road gap for practice and then up past the waterfall to the step ups. You got within touching distance of the bikes at warp speed and you cannot in any way get a feel for how brutal/steep and committed the course is without being there. Back down to watch the race at the finish, follow the action on the big screen and then see the riders send the final jump. Amazing atmosphere, brilliant commentary all day and kids met and got pictures with Dan, Gee, Rachel Mick etc who went out of their way to give them attention and a proper picture. Most of the crowd were filming the action not watching it with there mobiles and I have never seen more Go pro's in one place.

Still buzzing two days later - the look on the riders faces when they finish say it all - these guys are the real deal no bullshit just talent and guts.
  • 8 0
 I hope one day this event gets big enough that there's a good chunk of money to be won. I wanna see more riders every year coming to this. There's World Cup racing and then there's Hard-line racing and man I want more hard-line racing.
  • 11 1
 racing's equivalent to rampage
  • 2 21
flag TomBrady (Sep 20, 2016 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 no sir
  • 5 0
 Anyone see Brage snap his devinci on the landing of one of the gaps near the wall huck? I thought it would have gone semi viral in the mtb community, but perhaps Devinci have tried to keep it on the low low?
  • 4 0
 I want to see a picture of that bike! I checked his FB page and he just says he had a "pretty big mechanical problem." I think catastrophic failure would have been more appropriate.
  • 3 0
 My hat off to every rider who raced there, you need 'huevotes' to go down there and fly like that. I like the look on Eddys eyes.................crazy!! All of them great riders Cheers
  • 3 2
 As with all "invite only" events, you run the risk of a low turnout at the crux. How many people were on the list initially? How many actually rode the finals? To me the field was a bit thin and the coverage rather padded out to make up for the lack of riders. Just my take. Still enjoyed the event and congrats to all who rode, especially Bernard Kerr. Mad skills that chap has.
  • 7 0
 5 riders got hurt on Saturday practice and a couple of others dropped out, they only have 1 rider on course at a time, I'm guessing for safety reasons as there is a high chance of serious injury. with to many riders the event would go on to long when you have qualies in the morning and finals afternoon. I think 20 riders is a good amount and it should stay that way.
  • 2 0
 Bro it was WAY better than last year half the riders didnt even make it to the finals and when your there nobody told you anything. This year much better ????????
  • 2 0
 Ya, I agree much better than last years coverage. I am sure it will grow year by year...
  • 4 0
 Very humbling. Whenever I think I'm good on a bike, I just have to remind myself of HARDLINE.
  • 2 0
 How can a injured rider, ride that monster? Suspension always helps to damp the hits but in that case, I believe the compression was at its maximum (or close to it) on pretty much every bike!!! Impressive!!!
  • 4 0
 Gee, for all of the sh!t he is given, is arguably the hardest guy on the WC circuit. He has raced after some of the worst training/qualifier run wrecks in memory, like at the G-spot in Hafjell and at one of the highest-speed sections at MSA.
  • 3 0
 @kabanosipyvo: Plus his insane Rampage antics
  • 6 2
 Lacondeguy? Was he there?
  • 8 0
 unfortunately not, it's just a quick quote taken of his facebook profile.
  • 2 0
 @lunatyk: ah, okay, thanks man...
  • 3 0
 Sweet cover pic for a sick event. Props to the builders and everyone who nailed the track !
  • 2 0
 Very nice event! It has Danny Hart's name written all over it though... It would be nice to have him there competing next year!
  • 1 0
 It would be great to have him back at Harline after winning it in 2014
  • 3 0
 Thanks REDBULL.... hands off the bars ....Best race this year!!! Camera work blew me away.....
  • 3 0
 Sick mick needs a longer brake line
  • 2 0
 If my rim ever wrecked like #6 I would probably never recover financially, or physically. Crazy guys.
  • 3 2
 Not a bad race for someone who wasn't even on his country's national team for world champs... GB you may want to choose this guy first next time hahaha
  • 1 0
 He was going to be on the team but he pulled out because of his shoulder injury.
  • 1 0
 @LozParker: (I meant the winner) hahahaha
  • 2 3
 perhaps they should rearrange the schedule of Rampage and Hard Line. Do Rampage a bit earlier and then Hard Line after it. Then the big names from Rampage would perhaps consider starting in the welsh mountains.
  • 1 0
 Maybe. It's worth trying
  • 3 0
 Fucking awesome event
  • 2 0
 looks like ya got a couple loose spokes there
  • 5 2
 #longlivechainsaw
  • 1 0
 Such a good event, seeing some of the feature in the flesh was awesome! Definitely going again next year
  • 2 0
 Yeah Boyyss!
  • 1 0
 Time to hunt for some wallpapers
  • 1 0
 More features more riders next year
  • 2 1
 would be cool to see Ratboy at hardline, seems like his kind of riding.
  • 1 0
 Same here. I doubt the athertons want him there though. Probably a bunch of pros on the no invite list that we'd all love to see there.
  • 1 0
 great photo thread as well.
  • 1 0
 Great recap vid of the event but had to turn the music down
  • 1 0
 This has become my new favorite event!
  • 1 0
 Sunringle should be renamed SunKrinkle!!!
  • 1 0
 Mint
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