The Athertons' 5 Most Memorable with Trek - Throwback Thursday

Jan 10, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Atherton with just the one bridge left to go.

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

Kade Edwards tasting gold for the first time but hopefully not the last.

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

Trek Session 9.9 Review - title image

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.


39 Comments

  • + 31
 Rachel, great job bringing the gnar to the Beeb eloquently and without any f-bombs Smile
A window into the sport that viewers will just stare at blankly and forget about instantly. No problem, the trails aren't big enough for all of us anyway.
  • + 9
 Couldn't agree more - absolute class and modesty. With that said, my daughter doesn't ride but is a competitive swimmer, and loves Rachel's attitude, commitment and all-around awesomeness. What an ambassador! Thanks Rachel.
  • + 2
 Pure class Rach. Nice one!
  • + 9
 The Athertons are a bit like Peaty. Setting up events, supporting younger riders, winning stuff. They may only need to start their own (clothing) brand.
  • + 33
 I think Dan should get sponsored by Caterpillar. The machinery, the tools, the work wear. A match made in heaven
  • + 11
 That news reporter loved it!
  • + 15
 'the jumps are the easy bits' ... news reporter's eyes nearly shoot out his head.
  • + 6
 The whole Antherton Clan is a great phenomenon in our sport. What they've all done as a collective and as individuals. Both for personal goals and for the benefits of MTB as a whole can't be understated. They also hold no punches. We get to see them outside of the media circus of race weekend. We get to see that what they have hasn't come easy. Them and there support teams work their asses off. We see the parts of their personalities that we like and don't like. We see their wins and losses. They each inspire riders in so many different ways. From the completely different ways Rachel and Gee take on a season. To Dan stepping away from racing and doing projects both personal and for the sport that redefine what this sport is. I'm sure they have to beat companies off with a stick everytime it's new sponsorship time. Bike companies know the overall benefits to having "The Anthertons" attached to their brand.. At a Norco diehard loyalist (37yrs). The possibility of them riding for Norco next, is pretty freaking awesome. Both have goals outside of the race world to further the sport of MTBing as a whole.
  • + 6
 They bring so much shine to brands. I just like them for who they are really not what bikes they ride.
  • + 3
 Rachel Atherton the female Steve Peat. The Brits are proud to have such a strong female athlete dominating the sport.
  • + 1
 Someone give her a beer
  • + 2
 @ibis09 Haha! Dude, you're hilarious!
  • + 2
 Respect. So, they're riding Norco's next year?
  • + 1
 Was I the only one who heard Doddy hint about Merida on GMBN tech? or did I dream that?
  • + 4
 People have hinted at allsorts, including, but not limited to: Cube, Norco, Merida, Marin, YT. Neil mentioned Rachel was riding a 29er and suggested this might mean moving to a manufacturer with only a 29er DH model, but I think that sounds like BS.
Regarding Norco though; everyone's real quick to talk about the Atherton's moving there and then where Blenki is going to go, but I've seen nothing to suggest Blenki is leaving. There was an IG post in late December saying "want to get back on the big rig", kinda implying he isn't leaving.
  • + 1
 @AlexSplode: Nah mate. That's what he said.
  • + 3
 Its Merida, but wait for it.... Specialized frames.
  • + 2
 So, a bit like the Animal, Muddy Fox, Intense M1 days then. That reminds me, I've got to go and check I've still got all the Earthed films.
  • + 2
 Fantastic recap of a fantastic stint with Trek.
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