Gee and Rachel Atherton have announced they are targeting a 2022 racing comeback in a team release from Continental Atherton today.
Rachel hasn't raced in a World Cup since she ruptured her Achilles tendon in Les Gets, 2019
. Following a long rehab process from a brutal injury
, Rachel also announced her pregnancy in February 2021 and gave birth to her baby daughter Arna in August
. Five months on, Rachel is apparently back on her downhill bike and it looks like she could be back between the tapes later this year.
Rachel said “Getting back to the races is a huge driver, to be on the podium again would be the dream. I feel amazing on the bike but the strength and fitness are coming a bit more slowly! I’m just taking things one step at a time, I’d like to race some UK Nationals first then we’ll see where I’m really at!”
Gee Atherton has also faced a lengthy rehab after his crash
filming 'The Knife Edge
' project in June. The crash left him with multiple injuries including, "including broken ribs, multiple fractures and breaks to his femur and wrists." His rehab is apparently going well
and he is eying being back between the tapes soon. He said, "I’m missing being part of the action at the races and I’ve already got some big filming projects planned so I’m flat out on the rehab!"Two New Faces Join Continental Atherton
Joining, Gee, Rachel, Charlie Hatton and Andreas Kolb
on the Atherton team in 2022 will be two new riders, first year Junior Dominic Platt and Red Bull Hardline shredder Jim Monro.
Dom spent 2021 cleaning up the UK domestic scene as part of the Atherton Academy and will graduate into the Factory team with the blessing of Dan Atherton. Dan said “Dom is a natural racer. I’ve ridden with him loads at Dyfi and not only does he have natural talent but he’s always willing to put in the graft”
The second addition to the team came through another Atherton pathway but one less proven than the Atherton Academy. 20 year old Jim Monro moved to the Dyfi three years ago
(the minute he finished his GCSEs no less) in a bid to push on his racing and to help Dan develop the bike park. As part of the Dyfi dig crew Jim’s work ethic and riding skills earned him a 2021 invite to Red Bull Hardline. Jim grasped the opportunity with both hands and delivered a stand-out performance, moving another step closer to his dream of World Cup racing. Gee Atherton said “We’ve always joked with Jim that he’d ride Hardline one day but I don’t think he ever took us seriously. He was always so flat out building that he’d never ridden a single feature, he was awesome!”