Gee Atherton Pulls Out of Rampage After Surgery

Sep 30, 2019 at 8:33
by James Smurthwaite  
Gee flipped a little later but he didn t hold back on the boost

Gee Atherton has announced he will not be able to ride in Red Bull Rampage after having surgery on an injury picked up in training.

Gee had been working hard towards his run in Utah and was seen busting out a lot of newly-learned backflips in training at Hardline. However, he was riding with the Nitro Circus crew last week in Dyfi bike park and unfortunately picked up an injury on his left arm. He initially seemed positive that it would only result in a few days off the bike but it seems it was worse than originally thought and he has had to go under the knife to recover fully. Gee posted from the hospital:

bigquotesMan down. Was so pumped to be getting ready for Rampage but a crash last week meant surgery today! Absolutely gutted to have to pull out, Rampage has always been special to me and I was feeling the draw to the desert again badly! But I'll be back, and doing everything I can to be there next year! Sometimes you have to go hard.Gee Atherton


We're sending healing vibes to Gee and hope to see him back on a bike soon. We've reached out to Red Bull to see if anyone will replace Gee on the Rampage roster.


128 Comments

  • 155 2
 looks like an amputation in the photo!
  • 14 0
 Ha! Was just gonna say it looks like the whole arm is gone.
  • 202 0
 ‘ ‘tis but a scratch!’
  • 42 0
 @jimoxbox: "I'll bite your legs off!"
  • 38 1
 He'll just make a new one out of carbonfibre and 3D prints
  • 17 0
 Gutted for you gee. However, on the bright side, at least it's not your right hand..... Every cloud ...
  • 5 0
 @jamesdippy: What if he's left handed though?
  • 2 1
 @mtbschrader: You mean gone under the covers to scratch his balls?
  • 5 0
 @jimoxbox: I'm not dead yet! I think I'll go for a walk.
  • 3 0
 A Leftie fork should correct the imbalance of the amputated left arm. Good as new!
  • 3 0
 "It's just a flesh wound!"
  • 2 0
 @vinay: It's only a flesh wound
  • 3 0
 Dudes a cyborg. Of course they have to take the arm off for repairs, duh!
  • 68 5
 Gee got robbed
  • 60 0
 Oh man, and all those pointers I have him in Humbled! Heal up, Gee!
  • 39 2
 This is your damned fault, Levy. A bit of confidence goes a long way, but he needed time to fully absorb what you taught him before taking it to the big leagues.

Just because someone signs up for one of your patented "Mike Check" lessons, doesn't mean they're ready for its full impact... But, then, with a slogan like "Levy Your Ego at the Door," it's admittedly hard to resist the appeal.
  • 3 47
flag gorideyourbikeman (Sep 30, 2019 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 @abhorred: Imagine feeling cool trash-talking a rider on a bicycle website
  • 50 0
 @gorideyourbikeman: imagine not getting the joke
  • 53 7
 Athertons are dropping like flys heal well fella
  • 23 111
flag tobiusmaximum (Sep 30, 2019 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 All you f***ing downvoters are out of control. He stated a fact and wished gee well.. ffs, what is wrong with that?!!
  • 71 12
 @tobiusmaximum: I just down voted your comment for shits and giggles.
  • 8 3
 @murfio: I can't decide if I want to up or down vote your comment now. xD
  • 4 10
flag vinay (Oct 1, 2019 at 6:14) (Below Threshold)
 Ah, you've got downvotes here? Can I have some too?
  • 28 0
 That's totally what happens when you hang with the Nitro Circus crew hahaha, heal up!
  • 3 0
 Yeah, bad idea to go there shortly before Rampage... Nevertheless, heal up, Gee!
  • 3 0
 @yoobee: yeah but like anyone would pass that up?!
  • 19 0
 Heal fast, Gee! See you at Rampage 2020!
  • 16 1
 Dan gave him a Chinese burn.
  • 6 0
 I dislocated my shoulder back in August and thought the same thing....week or two off the bike. Nope. 6 weeks.
  • 5 0
 I dislocated my shoulder back on June 29. Haven't been on a bike since Frown
  • 4 0
 @Jvhowube: It sucks, right? Fortunately I don't need surgery and went the PT route. And when I say back on the bike after 6 weeks, I mean to say I'm riding in the woods but probably about 60% speed on the downs just being careful not to fall. So I can't even imagine how long it would take to recover enough to do something like Rampage.
  • 2 0
 Damn! Me too! I'm at week 7 and recovering steadily but I thought it would only be a couple weeks tops, turns out I have some tissue that's more badly damaged than I thought. Considering going in to get MRI... Frown I could ride now but nowhere near 100%.
  • 2 0
 @Jvhowube: Sorry to hear, I feel your pain. More literally than I'd like... Off the bike since early August after a dislocation caused by a pretty ordinary crash. It's very painful too...
  • 1 0
 @davec113: Hah wow! Today is exactly 7 weeks for me. I had an MRI 4 weeks ago which showed I had a lot of old scar tissue built up in there so my doc was basically 50/50 on whether to operate. Ultimately we both decided to see what PT could do. It's been going well so far and my therapist is pretty cool to give me the green light to ride. She said its a very stable position to be in and will actually help strengthen around the scapula. Plus she said it would probably help me mentally, which of course it has. Just told me not fall lol
  • 5 0
 @davec113: get the MRI. I got the labrum surgery 2 weeks after my dislocation. My labrum was pretty thrashed. if you have soft tissue damage in there, it basically sets you up for future dislocations if you don't get it fixed.

i'm about a month out from biking again. the recovery is long and slow, but it'll be worth it in the end. should've just not crashed and dislocated in the first place -_-
  • 4 0
 Did this 10 days ago, and also thought I'd be back in a week. f*cking oath it's a much bigger injury than most realised.

Edit: This legit feels like a support group. Ha.
  • 4 1
 I dislocated my left shoulder 35 times in my life and I was never off sport for more then 4 weeks. But this is only because ligaments were always "ok" (never torn). Then I went to the gym with good trainer and managed to build up muscles around my shoulder to this point, that I never needed a surgery - they said I should, but I didnt want it. Im happy now, because Im without dislocation now for more then 10y Smile
  • 7 0
 @gally-nh: I dislocated both my shoulders several times and I had to get a SLAP/Bankart surgery on both. There's a 90% recidivism rate if you get your shoulder dislocated once no matter how much training you'll do to reinforce it. It'll hurt a lot less when you redislocate it but sadly, it will most likely happen again the next time you fall and push your shoulder in the wrong axis. If I were you, I'd get surgery as it's the only way that will make it solid again.
  • 1 0
 @gally-nh: 7 weeks and 3 days for me... And almost 3 years ago to the day of the crash I destroyed the opposite shoulder in another mtb crash, had massive tissue damage that took about 1.5 years of PT to make good progress on, but I recovered rotator cuff muscles the dr said would never come back. I did lose my long-head bicep tendon, so I have "popeye arm". This dislocation isn't as bad but effected my Pec Minor and Superspinatus, the pec muscle is a big issue for riding bikes. Very happy you can ride and the dr said the joint is stable, best wishes for a full recovery!
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: Yeah, you're right. It's been 7 weeks and there's still a lot of pain, especially after stretching and PT, or activity. I called my old dr from my previous shoulder injury (see my other post) and he got me in this afternoon, 99% chance he'll approve a MRI. Hope it turns out that I just need to HTFU! Wink
  • 2 0
 Broke my clavicula 3 and a half months ago (middle of June) Yesterday was my first proper ride since the injury. I thought "It'll be fine in a month or two", but I am glad I took the time to heal properly. Went right back into proper riding, and the grin at the end of the day was super rewarding. Confidence level is over 9000 and I feel super happy about my break - beats going back after half the time and feeling like shit by a long shot.
  • 1 0
 Tore my pec muscle tendon off the bone 10 weeks ago. In my 7th week of recovery. Long road ahead probably 1 year before I ride again.
  • 1 0
 You've never lived, until you've had an 18-month lasting frozen shoulder! Separated shoulder and broken collar bones do not even compare with that one... but they surely help!
  • 1 0
 Broke my left leg in three places, torn some ligaments in the ankle, damaged my peroneal nerve, can't move my big toe up. Thursday will be 2 months from surgery. Still can't walk without crutches. But I had a slow and steady ride 2 days ago, for the first time, actually it's been easier than walking Smile Can I join the support group?
Oh oh, dislocated both shoulders, the right one I lost count how many times, stopped counting after 21st. Last two times on july and september last year, still having problems with it. You're right, it does hurt less with time, and it's quite easy to pop it back in. Which is not necessarily good Smile Was going to get proper PT for that, but hey, now I'm stuck with PT for a bad leg...
  • 1 0
 @davec113: thanks man, same to you! I think the saving grace in my situation was that it dislocated forwards so the stresses from holding the bars push it away from the dislocation position/angle.
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: Bummer man, hope you healed up. My buddy did that same day, it was my birthday. He had surgery and wont be back 9n bike till January.
  • 1 0
 I also dislocated a shoulder 3 months ago i can ride but having surgery in 2 weeks. shoulders and arms still seem to be the MTB injury of choice. heal up Gee.
  • 1 0
 I broke my leg at Whistler in July and I'm still on crutches and not bearing weight, can't even start PT yet. Can't work full time. Won't be walking normally for almost 6 months out from the crash. Not sure when I'll be back on a bike. Injuries suck, not biking sucks more... Almost.
  • 1 0
 @chmurka3rg: How are you on crutches but went for a ride? My injury sounds similar to yours and I'm about 2 months out from surgery now with absolutely no weight bearing on my leg.
  • 2 0
 @Trevorjn: It hurts way less when I ride, than it does when I walk.
I did ride on a training bike for about 2 weeks before my first real ride, on the lowest force setting. I also got an OK from the ortho for putting weight on that leg, until I feel pain - I can do it, it just hurts, a lot sometimes. For the first two rides I had my crutches with me, in case I needed to walk Smile
But you can easily ride a bike without putting much weight on one of your legs.
I just have to be really careful not to fall over on that leg, obviously, and can only ride being seated all the time - which is surprisingly hard Smile So it's a bit of a granny-type of riding, but it still is riding a bike.
Your injury must be somehow different than mine. Sometimes with certain types of screws/metal plates in your bones you're not allowed to bear weight or have PT too soon. It sounds so serious -not being able to walk properly for 6 months.. Sorry to hear that. And also I'm really curious why.
I started my PT 5 days post surgery - nothing fancy, just strengthening my core, thigh and buttocks muscles. Then about 3 weeks later some exercise for the sick leg, but it's been only the last 2 weeks when it started to hurt a bit less, enabling me to put more weight on it and add some more serious exercises for it. My sadistic physio (god bless that man!) tortures me everyday, then I spend 3-4 hours in the physio-gym.
Also, I can't come back to work either. Fortunately I found some types of work I can do from home.
Healing vibes towards you man. Things will get easier once you will start PT and start having some progress! So fingers crossed it starts as soon as possible for you. And hope you'll get to ride soon!!
  • 1 0
 @biglev: Good luck man. guessing you had the surgery already - if you need any tips or what-to-expects, hit me up. I'm exactly 3.5 months out of surgery now.
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: Thanks fella. Hope you are on the mend. I did not have the surgery in the end just and big ass injections but on the mend. one week on just on physio. cant wait to get back on a bike. Happy trails bother.
  • 1 0
 @maxgod: I love this "support group" lol! Dislocated mine 5 weeks ago but my greater tuberosity ripped off my humerus in the process. Off the bike for 3-4 months but fracturing your greater tuberosity with a dislocation dramatically reduced your risk of further dislocations. I never knew that before this happened! Wishing everyone a speedy recovery because riding is way more fun than hiking!
  • 8 3
 Not sure if I would love or hate to be his insurance agent. . .
  • 19 6
 We don't need health insurance in the UK
  • 40 11
 @lacuna: y'all could use some dental insurance though!
  • 10 3
 @lacuna: Actually, there is a thriving private health insurance market in the UK, and athletes often use it since they require specialized treatments and can't afford to wait for procedures; they need to heal quickly to get back to what makes them money.

thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2012/01/16/the-awkward-world-of-private-insurance-in-the-uk
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: it's true. Was just gonna say that. A lot people in line of dangerous/well paid works rely on private care. Last week in a local muay Thai fight a knocked out fighter had to wait 7 hours in accident and emergency care before a doctor stitched his eye brow up. Waiting time in public hospitals are rediculous for this sort of stuff.
  • 3 1
 @Stanley-w: Thats crazy. I heard of a pro mountain biker who broke his back and was stuck on the mountainside for HOURS until he was life-flighted out of there!
  • 4 0
 @lacuna: I certainly needed private health care when I ruined both my knees getting hit by a car. Was already 3 weeks in braces by the time I got back to the UK. Time to wait to see an NHS physio....12 weeks. That goes from really bad injury to totally life changing when you cant begin straighten your legs for 15 weeks. If I couldn't afford to go private I don't know what my life would look like now.

The NHS was something to be proud of and I am very much proud of the doctors and nurses but its not really fit for these sorts of things unfortunately.
  • 2 0
 @stoo61: Exactly man. I think as an institution it serves as an safety net for those who are terminally ill or couldn't afford routine healthcare. But it isn't perfect and never will be. Go private if you can.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Ah I didn't say health insurance wasn't available, just that we don't 'need' it
  • 1 3
 @hamncheez: yeah, because we all know that no one else needs to get back to what makes them money! literally the most ridiculous thing I have read in awhile. I have middle of the road health insurance and can see a doctor in 24 hours, get needed procedures in under a week. the private market is far superior to goverment in meeting consumers needs.
  • 1 1
 @conoat: hey I agree with you 100%, I'm a free market guy. The point of my comment is that people who are more time sensitive for treatment bear higher costs under government healthcare. Healthcare costs are measured in more than just dollar amounts.
  • 2 0
 So close to Rampage, What a shame. I've been considering the whole 'everything happens for a reason' ideology a lot recently, after breaking my neck last week after a little tumble off my bike. Wonder if Gee feels the same
  • 1 0
 I was really looking forward to seeing what kind of lines that he would go for, with both his racers background and that insane man he calls brother helping him out.
  • 5 0
 Healing vibes to the Gee !
  • 4 0
 Who is the first alternate who gets to take his place?
  • 15 65
flag deco1 (Sep 30, 2019 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 bienvenido aguado I believe, saw him at whistler guys shreds, his more deserving of a spot then Gee anyways.
  • 51 3
 Larry Enticer
  • 6 1
 Bienvenido Aguado - Yet another YT freerider.
  • 17 6
 @deco1: He shreds so much that nobody knows who he is. Why all the negativity towards Gee in your posts, did he walk past you and not say hi?
  • 9 15
flag deco1 (Sep 30, 2019 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 @Davec85: @Davec85: So is good popularity the way to get yourself into rampage, hell let’s let Seth’s bike hacks in next year.

He got 4th at proving grounds so deserves his spot at rampage unlike Gee who hasn’t done anything freeride in years and hasn’t competed at rampage since level was massively improved. I have personally seen both ride live and in my opinion bienvenido aguado is a much better freerider and this is a freeride competition.
  • 6 17
flag deco1 (Sep 30, 2019 at 9:25) (Below Threshold)
 @Davec85: Also I remember Gee being super hated on this site by everyone like 2 years ago because of his arrogance, now his everyone’s favourite, what’s up with that.
  • 13 3
 @deco1: He did some great DH race preview vids and people realized he's a good bloke after all.
  • 12 0
 Dylan Stark if they want to put on a show
  • 25 2
 I don't think Gee was hated because of "his arrogance", I think Gee, when compared to some of the others at the time, wasn't perceived to be as fun in front of the camera and that was interpreted as arrogance. No need to bring one down to raise another. Gee has contributed so much to mountain biking over the years, continues to shred (catch the recent Hardline?) and has represented the sport and himself with class. I think if you are not able to give credit to Gee where credit is due just for his biking skills alone than that's more on you than him. Good luck to whoever gets the spot and heal up Gee!
  • 12 3
 @snl1200: yep, gees past seriousness mistaken as arrogance. He seems to be having more fun with it now that the podium too spot is off the table
The athertons were the ones who brought the awareness of off season and structured training to their racing, dominated then everyone else realised they needed to catch up.
The athertons have probably furthered the sport of DH racing more than anyone imo.
  • 2 0
 @kelvinbenedictmtb: f*ck yeh!! I wanna see Dylan shred Rampage
  • 2 0
 @kelvinbenedictmtb: You got my vote! Dude is awesome. His IG Story is a nonstop party. Dylan Stark is also on a YT.
  • 9 2
 @deco1: so a guy who got 4th a qualifying event (that was really just a beefed up slope style contest) is more deserving than a guy who is one of the best all around riders of his generation, who by the way has finished 2nd in the actual Rampage event twice?
  • 1 1
 My buddy Randy
  • 2 0
 Being in the same area with the Nitro Circus dudes would be dangerous enough let alone riding with them. Bummer you can't do Rampage Gee, heal up and smash it next year.
  • 2 0
 He should follow her sister with wc wins not the hospital.... get well soon dude!
  • 3 0
 Heal up Gee! Always a champ and an inspiration.
  • 3 0
 Newly learned backflips ?? Think you better check on that PB
  • 3 0
 "Learned backflips at Hardline..." Well done.
  • 1 0
 "However, he was riding with the Nitro Circus crew last week in Dyfi bike park " I guess they forgot to bring their Resi/Airbag landing ramp....
  • 1 2
 The Hospital bed selfie, the stretcher selfie, etc; born through those who crave the dopamine rush and attention from all the "likes" and well wishes. So much so that their own health and well being are sidelined by the need to overshare their personal lives and call it "content" for those with even lower self esteem than the one producing it. Isn't he like 40+ years old? Stop acting like a 12 year old and get off social media.
  • 2 0
 There are plenty of psychologists in NY to help you with your self esteem issues...
  • 3 1
 Oh crap...was rooting for Gee. Another man down.
  • 1 0
 Sucks big style Gee is a multi talent . i was looking forward seeing him there again Heal up bro !
  • 2 0
 I too pickup injuries at the store when I'm bored
  • 1 0
 Was really looking forward to seeing him shred Rampage once again! Get well soon, man!
  • 1 0
 If there is anything we've learned, Gee comes back stronger, like a cyborg. Best wishes GeeMan
  • 1 0
 That's not an American size stretcher be lucky to squeeze half our patients in that
  • 2 1
 Rampage just got a bit more boring .
  • 1 1
 Well, if the camera work is a bad this year as it was last year you won't be able to see him anyway! Better off in bed pal!
  • 3 1
 Fuck bums
  • 2 1
 Get well ,and start thinking in the DH racing
  • 1 0
 Did any one else hear Gee's accent while reading that ?
  • 1 0
 OMGee, a backflip a day keeps the doctor away Wink
  • 4 4
 He almost looks relieved that he doesn't have to ride rampage.
  • 1 1
 just throw some brakes on that gurney and you're good to go
  • 1 1
 F”!*# Man
  • 1 2
 Pull up, not out. Get well dude.
  • 1 1
 Give his spot to connor
  • 2 5
 Wow Trek really trimmed the fat just in time! Its ok, not everyone is Greg Minnaar. Or even in the same class.
  • 4 0
 Ah bless... The unrequited saga continues...
  • 4 0
 @Dropthedebt: I was so close to telling this twit to eff off pre-emptively as the first comment under this article.
  • 3 0
 @BenPea: lol I'm intrigued to find out where his anger stems from.
  • 1 2
 How convenient
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