It didn’t come as a massive surprise to hear the Athertons were moving on from Trek when the news broke on Tuesday.
The Athertons have only been with Trek for three years, but over that period they’ve amassed 11 World Cup wins, two World Cup overalls, three World Championships, three National Championships and last but not least, a win at Red Bull Hardline.
Let’s take a look back at five of their greatest achievements with Trek.
Rachel’s win streak
From 17 May 2015 to 3 June 2017, Rachel Atherton was unbeaten in downhill racing. Yes, this win streak started on GT but Rachel kicked off her Trek career with eight straight World Cup wins and a perfect, unbeaten season. In nearly two years of racing, there were no mechanicals, and no f*ck ups - just inch-perfect precision. Yes, Rachel delivered the results on the day but this was a story of a whole team working in harmony and delivering incredible results. It was a record-breaking feat that will probably stand for many years to come.Gee’s redemption
Gee didn’t enjoy as much success as Rachel on Trek but his redemption came at the very end of his time with the brand. Gee was battling his own body more than the bikes at times as he powered through a niggling shoulder in 2016, dislocated his hip in Fort William in 2017 and raced with a broken wrist in 2018. He ended up missing out on the British Worlds squad in 2018 and was vocal about his disappointment on social media. He was happy to let his bike riding talk louder though and finished the year an eighth in Mont Sainte Anne and a second in La Bresse, his first podium for Trek. Topping it all off though was his Hardline win. At the fifth time of asking, an Atherton had finally won on downhill’s hardest course.The Atherton Academy
The Athertons brought along a supporting cast of fast, up-and-coming riders every year on Trek including Taylor Vernon, Mille Johnset, Graeme Mudd and Charlie Hatton. In the past two years, Kade Edwards has definitely proven himself as the most successful and finished off the year tasting gold in Lenzerheide with a World Champs win but most of the talent they took on board have gone on to careers on other teams. If you want a rider to look out for, the Athertons also back Luke Williamson who will be making the step up to juniors next year after dominating the British youth scene.The Trek Session 29
In the Session 29, Trek delivered one of the very first production 29 inch downhill bikes. With the Athertons’ input, the machine was first shown to journalists (and probably could have been raced) in the same weekend the Syndicate dropped their 29 inch downhill bike, but wasn’t properly revealed until a month later. While we may not be the biggest fans
, Rachel’s consistent victories on the 27.5 platform have maintained the Session’s legacy as one of the most successful downhill bikes ever.Mainstream Appeal
For most of the British public, the Athertons are
mountain biking in the UK. Since the season finished, Rachel has been featured in national newspapers, appeared on a prime time TV quiz show and was namechecked by Lizzy Yarnold (Britain’s most successful winter Olympian) at Sports Personality of the Year (an annual televised awards ceremony).
On top of this, Gee and Dan’s exploits at Hardline and the Foxhunt are capable of pricking the mainstream attention and becoming viral videos. For growing people’s awareness of downhill mountain biking, there’s not many better than the Athertons.