Powered by Outside

5 Things We Learned From Red Bull Hardline 2024

Jun 4, 2024 at 12:43
by Sarah Moore  
photo
Ronan Dunne got his Red Bull helmet in Wales.

1. Ronan Dunne deserves his wings.

Ronan Dunne was presented with a Red Bull helmet ahead of race day at Hardline this year. Despite the added pressure of racing in the Red Bull helmet for the first time, he backed up his fastest qualifying run with a win come finals.

Dunne has won three out of the four major events he's done this year, including the first edition of Red Bull Hardline in Tasmania, the DH World Cup in Poland, and Red Bull Hardline Wales. At the first DH World Cup round in Fort William, he finished a respectable 11th.

The 21-year-old Irishman has had a meteoric rise through the rankings. He secured his first top 30 result in Leogang in July of 2021 and then cracked the top 20 for the first time with a 17th in Les Gets later that year. At that point, just three years ago, he was funding his own race season and even had to pay for his bike. From being a top 30 contender to World Cup winner, Dunne has made a name for himself in a very short time. If you haven't already, you can listen to the interview I did with Ronan Dunne earlier this year for the Pinkbike Podcast.

In it, he mentions that he drinks several Red Bulls on race day to get fired up. In his finish line interview at Hardline Wales, he confirmed that he drank five or six before his finals run.


Juanfer Velez
Just a casual no-hander off the road gap by Juanfer Velez in Qualifying on his way to third place.

2. The Colombians made an incredible first impression at Hardline.

In their first Hardline event, Juanfer Velez finished third and Sebastian Holguin finished sixth. While both compete in World Cup races and the Red Bull Cerro Abajo Urban DH series, neither had ever competed in Red Bull Hardline. For the two young riders to get up to speed on the most technical track in the world in just a couple of days and then lay down some of the fastest runs is incredibly impressive.

Both 20 year olds rode on the limit, with Holguin casing the two 90 footers on the course, but remaining composed and making it to the finish line. Sebastian Holguin has podiumed in the Junior category at the DH World Cup in Snowshoe and is 3x Pan American Champion.

Juanfer Velez threw a no-hander on the road gap in Qualifying on his way to setting the third fastest time and backed that up with a third place come finals day. Velez came 13th in Les Gets last year and while he didn't qualify for the first two World Cups this year, we have the feeling that he's a rider to watch in coming years. You can find him on the results list as Juan Munoz and on Roots and Rain as Juan Fernando Munoz.


Matteo Iniguez rode strong all week finishing out his week in Wales in 5th.
Matteo Iniguez finished fifth, 4.457 seconds back on Ronan Dunne.

3. The top five were tight, but not the tightest in Hardline history.

In 2014, the top five at Red Bull Hardline top five were separated by 24.789 seconds. In 2015, the top five were separated by 21.55 seconds. In 2016, things got closer, with the top five being separated by 6.68 seconds. In 2017, just 5.11 seconds separated the top five. In 2018, it was back to 12.87 seconds. In 2019, just about 8 seconds separated the top 5. In 2021, we saw the closest race, with the top five being separated by 3.5 seconds. In 2022, the top five was separated by 7.5 seconds.

In 2024, 2.189 seconds separated the top three and 4.457 separated the top five, making it the second-closest race in Hardline history.


photo
Papa Bryceland wasn't the only dad in the mix.

4. There were five dads in the mix and three of them finished in the top 15.

Sam Blenkinsop, Josh Bryceland, Brendan Fairclough, Matt Jones, and Szymon Godziek were all in Wales for Red Bull Hardline this year, with Blenki finishing 8th, Bryceland finishing 12th and Fairclough finishing 15th on the world's most difficult downhill race course. Matt Jones got a flat tire in his finals run, but was one of three riders that tested the canyon gap earlier in the week, while Szymon Godziek crashed out in practice but was riding all week.

Also, Josh Lowe and Jono Jones both have full-time corporate jobs in London. YT released a video with Lowe last week about finding that work-life balance and you can check out their LinkedIn profiles here and here.


As if the 90 feet doubles weren t hard enough Matteo Iniguez Tibo Laly wanted to try them side by side.
As if riding the 90 foot doubles wasn't enough.

5. Hardline has progressed the sport even in just the past three years.

When the 90 footers were added to the Hardline course in 2022, riders were nervous about them, especially after Bernard Kerr's crash on them. Somehow he walked away from that one, and this year, we saw Thibaut Laly and Matteo Iniguez casually riding them in tandem.

As for the women in attendance, four of them (Cami Nogueira, Hannah Bergemann, Tahnee Seagrave and Vaea Verbeeck) ticked off the on-off jump and the road gap for the first time and are ever so close to full runs, while Jenna Hastings also ticked off some of the course's features. This is the third time we've seen women taking on the Red Bull Hardline course and it's incredible to see their progress.


Tahnee Seagrave made short work of the road gap.
Tahnee Seagrave went from ticking off some of the monstrous features on the course to commentating in the box with Rob Warner.


Other facts:
• The top four in qualifying were also the top four in finals.
• Tahnee Seagrave was great in the commentary booth alongside Rob Warner.
• We didn't seen any injuries on finals day, but Jim Munro was unable to race after his crash testing the canyon gap and Szymon Godziek crashed and injured his shoulder riding the course ahead of finals.
• Three runs were ended by flat tires, including both Jones brothers' runs.
• While the results definitely show that this is a downhiller's event, it's interesting to watch the freeriders get out of their comfort zone at this event and to contrast their riding styles.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,466 articles

140 Comments
  • 467 9
 We also (re)learned what good coverage looks like and how much we miss Rob
  • 58 0
 the amount of media coming out from the event was huge.
  • 38 7
 Much easier when there are a limited number of riders on a shorter course
  • 74 3
 @JonnyNorthmore: Dont you come on here being all reasonable and balanced.
  • 7 2
 @paulskibum: straw man argument. Same quality experienced across full WC seasons.
  • 15 0
 @browner: Its easy to show 20 odd riders doing three minute runs when you space them out to allow the whole run to be shown and reset the drones and so on between them. Run 4 races with 60 plus riders in the mens senior cat at 1 minute to 3 minute intervals and everything becomes a lot trickier.

Start spacing the mens race runs out like that and the live feed lasts 4+ hours and weather starts hitting the runs and everyone starts getting annoyed by a different set of issues.
  • 11 40
flag LokiTheCat FL (Jun 4, 2024 at 23:18) (Below Threshold)
 6. Doubt I'm the only one who fell in love w/ Tahnee purring into my ear about technical line choice. She's the only girl I want in my commentary booth.
  • 4 1
 @paulskibum: yes I understand, but you have described wcdh coverage ending 2022 which was great. We saw some and we loved it.
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: But very little in the main cycling or mainstream media. All in the MTB media.........preaching to the converted......
  • 3 0
 Yes! Race coverage was great, multiple cameras in good spots, drones, commentators were as good as ever. Was pleasure to watch. Thanks to Redbull.
  • 10 0
 Tahnee and Rob were such are good commentator combo
  • 23 0
 @LokiTheCat: thats a bit wierd mate
  • 4 0
 @jonnybeher: hahahahahaha yup
  • 5 0
 I actually thought the camera work of the race was worse than the last two UCI races.
  • 184 20
 I wish Ronan Dunne well on his sponsorship, but the line about how much redbull he consumes is worrying... That amount of redbull is incredibly unhealthy, and unsustainable for anyone. I hope he cuts it down, because he has serious potential. And before I get downvoted, I really want him to be healthy so he can continue to race at the level he does.
  • 52 10
 Then again I don't think Red Bull is even that bad. It's 75mg of caffiene (less than coffee), sugar (or not), water, taurine, flavourings, colourants, CO2 and acidity regulators. It's biggest crime is its price.
  • 25 130
flag jonathanreid9 (Jun 4, 2024 at 13:53) (Below Threshold)
 Sounds like something sleepy Joe would say
  • 62 3
 I am convinced they have cans filled with water to drink on camera. I cant imagine those athletes dumping that much Redbull into their body.
  • 7 1
 @MRP9: Rachel Atherton uses it as a drink additive for training, seen often on her insta, what she was pouring was 100% redbull.

I've seen a heap of athletes even non-RB ones use it like above.
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: fair enough.
  • 4 0
 The event is held by Redbull and these athletes are sponsored by them, they are most likely paid to say they drink redbulls...
  • 13 0
 I’ve been on the cool-aid for years , ain’t done me any harm
  • 5 0
 Maybe, just maybe, he's part of the marketing strategy for Redbull, just saying ...
  • 9 0
 @MRP9: all energy drinks will have a "tour water" or other similar label on the cans, that is what you see athletes(in all sports) drink on podiums. its just water
  • 13 0
 @Appealingweiner: Ronan said all the redbull at the event last year was pure redbull.... he was stealing it from them haha
  • 4 5
 @tempnoo1: taurine is waaaay stronger than caffeine I believe
  • 21 0
 I had a friend of a friend die at one of my Super Bowl parties 4 years ago. We thought he just passed out in the chair. He was still there in the morning and the cause of death was a heart attack since he consumed 4 Monsters in a few hours. It’s still odd feeling knowing a dude died in my living room.
  • 12 0
 @Fukit-Just-Hukit: sorry man. That’s heavy to have on your mind - Redbull / Monster / Rockstar / whatever - it’s the passing of a friend that drags and the link to a brand that keeps making it fresh.

Hope you find peace and thanks for passing on the story so we can at least be wiser.
  • 1 0
 I was near the start/finish line for the XCO at Snowshoe last year. There was a Redbull tent and most of not all of the riders were pounding them. After the start I was mulling around and the guy in the Redbull tent was handing out what was left from the cooler, it was all Redbull.
  • 1 3
 @Matt115lamb: THAT is debatable.....
  • 3 2
 @Matt115lamb: how many cigarette smokers said that before more research was done years later?
  • 3 0
 @MRP9: I saw one athlete getting a fresh red bull and he let it flow in his mouth from some centimeters away. The camera filmed it perfectly from the side and the liquid which came out looked perfectly clear, like water.

I also think that they offer both variants.
  • 11 0
 Oh yeah, you think a guy who's just won hardline and rides like that is most at risk from drinking too many redbull.
  • 1 0
 @jonathanreid9: Congratulations to Connan the Barbarian for winning the monster energy hard style
  • 5 0
 I really get the sentiment and have no doubt it is well meant.

I also have no doubt that dosing up on RB is probably one of the LEAST dangerous things Ronan could probably do.

Makes me wonder. Have you seen just how friggin how fast he rides his bike past trees, over rocks and 90 ft kickers?

Caffiene and Taurine are the least of his worries.
  • 3 0
 @fabwizard: Taurine is a GABA agonist, that basically means it counters the effects of caffiene.
  • 2 0
 @on-the-move: we wouldn’t want him taking any unnecessary risks… /s
  • 2 0
 @tempnoo1: ya checked on it after my dumb post.
  • 2 0
 I could downvote you for that name Smile
  • 2 0
 @MRP9: I saw Kathy Sessler filling Monster cans from a water bottle in the finish line area and handing it to Syndicate riders at Champery a few years back.
  • 72 0
 The Colombians were seriously impressive! Loose units. Looking forward to watching more of them this season.
  • 19 2
 I think their speed reflect riders actually scouting their own lines vs teams & endless vids, line choices over radio (etc) that teams do in WC. Clearly that's how so many World Cup teams, and especially the higher end ones operate & win. But imagine World Cup racing line choice simply left to the rider – we would see lot different results because those top riders depend fully on the whole team apparatus. The Columbians are diehard shredders - just lacking all the additional support, so their times drop in comparison w/ the big guns. In a way, the whole team thing is kinda lame in that sense.

Add that support & I'll wager the Colombians rise right to the top - remove all team support so all riders choose their lines & rely only on themselves - and the Columbians rise to the top.

I'm kind of half kidding, but I would love to see something like the world championship or at least one race not be team supported in the sense of eight or 10 line spotters – riders just ride and pick their lines and race as fast as they can without the whole team behind them and I guarantee you will see different results. It would actually be way more realistic.
  • 6 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: The line spotters annoy me. Not that I'm there or matter at all but it just seems like anti-racing. The only value they ad is it gives Eddie and Jack lots of people to talk shit to.
  • 3 1
 @on-the-move: It certainly won't change but is it too much to ask to just have one race be one where the riders just ride & figure a track out themselves? Seems like that would be the essense of riding and its what 99% of riders do. I don't see why one single race couldn't just be rider only, no spotters and all that. I've alway thought that's kinda lame really - I get it, and its allowed...does allow for ridiculous speeds & lines, but its silicone implants in my view.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: At the end of the day talent wins. Ronan climbed the ranks as a privateer with very little support or line spotters. Just like Dak until this year. Small intense team, or Asa on frameworks dominating on basically a backyard built bike compared to the big factory guys on high dollar prototypes with engineering teams and hi tech telemetry and lockouts.
Even at a disadvantage the cream always rises to the top. If you have enough talent and fortitude you will rise to the top. Regardless of budget or bike.
  • 1 0
 @fwp39: Good point all around, esp w/ Ronan. Really does depend on the rider, but if were just the rider and not the whole team (granted skill can vary all around, tracks constantly change) I still can't help wondering how different results would be....esp considering Holguin & Velez weren't really on the radar much then bam, top 5 at the single gnarliest dh track of them all. With results being 10ths/100ths/1000ths even just simple line off or on, brake tap etc can be the difference in podium or T-10, even quali's. Either way, its badass and ultimately - comes down the riders.
  • 3 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Velez should be on every top teams radar after that run, if I was a team manager He would be at the top of the list come contract time.
  • 2 0
 @fwp39: Easily - a replacement for Cruz? Gwin? Jaskson? Lotsa options.

Everybody talking like there's no money in biking right now. Tight for sure but - still lotsa $$$ flying around. I'd invest in those two guys - total core shredders.
  • 38 0
 Camera angles and coverage of this race really helped us understand the difficulty of the course. The microphones on the berms, the riders breathing, and the sound of the fans added a nice audio touch.
  • 28 2
 Being a dad, I find I like to cheer on other dads doing cool things
  • 26 0
 Goodyear mtb tires did not have a good day
  • 5 0
 Was thinking the same. Were the Jones brothers the only two running them? And both had failures? Ouch
  • 23 0
 6. If you need a scaffold, call the lads who did that gap. Looked a cracking job.
  • 17 0
 And we still know that editors can't write sZYmon Godziek properly Wink
  • 9 1
 Fixed! Thank you!
  • 10 0
 Good Godziek you'd have thought they'd have learnt by now...
  • 19 2
 I do still miss 'Marine Caribou' during her first year or so on the Elite DH scene.....
  • 9 0
 @suspended-flesh: I'm ashamed to admit it but I still automatically read it that way even if it's spelled correctly.
  • 3 0
 @sarahmoore: no worries, but it's a common mistake in many media on Simon haha
  • 5 0
 @TasGravityGirls: Gotta love seafaring herd mammals
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: I liked the “Brendan FairCLOG” at Rampage
  • 17 1
 #3. Dunne's Mahs getting a brand new Caravan towed by his new Audi RS6
  • 2 0
 Ed Bull, that you?
  • 6 0
 She's terribly partial to the periwinkle blue.
  • 2 2
 I wonder if Ed knows he’s not so low-key calling Ronan a traveller (gypsy) by constantly saying this.
  • 3 1
 Ya like dags?
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: Do I like what?
  • 1 0
 @dirtmakesmehappy: Yeah, dags?
  • 2 0
 @dirtmakesmehappy: Dags, d'ya like dags?
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Oh, dogs. Yes I like dogs.
  • 15 0
 Love the bold "Other fact" - quote: Tahnee Seagrave was great in the commentary booth.
Great to see Tahnee back in the mix.
  • 9 0
 I loved her laughter whenever Rob dropped one of his inevitable Rob-isms. Just so natural and authentic.
  • 1 0
 'Awwwww my gawd!' - Haha Tahnee and Rob were a great team.
  • 14 0
 imagine Jono Jones casually asking to connect on linkedin
  • 14 0
 Adam Brayton had a helluva finals run............and in waders!
  • 4 3
 They weren't actual waders. Or is this a new PB meme that I'm supposed to repeat endlessly?
  • 3 1
 @BenPea: they weren't actually proper fish waders..... WTF.....
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: Only if they look like a Session and were used to rob Brendog and his BMX background...
  • 5 0
 @OlSkoolJake: I'm not doing this. You can all go fyck yourselves and your cable tourism and Randy too.
  • 1 1
 @BenPea: calm down Scott Towes...
  • 2 0
 @OlSkoolJake: Low blow, this is all tongue in cheek (ish).
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: I apologize. To invoke the name ST was wrong. I shall thro myself upon the alter of Levy and beg for pennence and salvation, for a error of my ways. We shall not speak of ST again...
  • 1 0
 @OlSkoolJake: I'm sure the gods will treat you with compassion. Live long and prosper.
  • 8 0
 That insanely fast left hander was just plain fun, as was watching people just putting together what looked like effortless slalom turns through the berms. But what really impressed me was how the fastest riders were able to flow in those chunky sections.
  • 24 13
 7. Bernard Kerr is Redbull Hardline
  • 8 0
 We also learned the more RedBull you consume before the race the more you shred. LOL. Heart be damned, I need this 5 minutes of wrestling an alligator strength and laser focus!
  • 10 0
 *4 dads. Matt Jones has a kid. He, unfortunately, was not in the top 15.
  • 6 1
 I knew I'd miss someone - thank you! I've added him in now.
  • 33 0
 And one grandad! ☝️
  • 6 0
 And Taylor Vernon
  • 5 0
 Godziek also have a daughter ^_^
  • 2 0
 @spqrtomas: Ooo I forgot about him since he didn't do finals, but I'll add him - definitely gets kudos for riding all week!
  • 5 0
 Hi Sarah,

I'm pretty sure 2023 was cancelled and it is 2024.

"In 2023, 2.189 seconds separated the top three and 4.457 separated the top five, making it the second-closest race in Hardline history."
  • 2 0
 Derp! The year that didn't happen. Edited.
  • 6 0
 Syndicate didn't make the best signings this year... I should support the Colombians. At least they would have come out on the Hardline. Latin Power!!!
  • 13 5
 Drink water
  • 7 0
 6. Gee is not going to chill out.
  • 4 0
 Aww, you mean the petition didn't work?
  • 2 0
 Camera placement was insanely perfect, Rob is the GOAT of mountain bike and sport broadcasting and he makes anyone he hosts with sound better. Was an epic show, thanks to REDBULL and Rob Warner for being the utmost in professional, exciting commentary.
  • 3 0
 #6. Red Bull does the best job covering MTB racing. Hope they continue to expand the Urban DH and Hardline and give the UCI events a run for their money. Maybe a more gnarly XC format series too????
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to see the women make a run. I heard during the race that riders who had not done all the features could not qualify which makes total sense. Just curious what parts of the course the ladies didn't clear, I meen the 90ft , on off and the road gap are massive, wich they did clear. The rest of the course I would think would be slightly easier then those?
  • 8 0
 I don't think any of the girls hit the 90 footers or the cliff drop.
  • 1 0
 @commental: ah ya, I forgot the 90 footer was after the on/off jump wich makes sense now.
  • 2 1
 @commental: A couple of them tested the cliff drop (Cami and Hannah, if I remember correctly), but yeah I don't think anyone yet tried the 90 footer.
  • 1 0
 @donimo: Where did you see that? Not saying you're wrong, but I don't recall seeing anything about any girls hitting it this year and none of them have anything on their insta feeds about it.
  • 1 0
 @commental: I'm not sure if we're talking about the same feature, as indeed I did saw these clips on Instagram, checking out their stories throughout the week.
  • 2 0
 @donimo: I'm talking about the 45' drop where Jess Blewitt injured her ankle last year. I was consuming Hardline footage all week and didn't see any of the girls hit it. Maybe they weren't over bothered about getting it done as it seems unlikely that it'll feature next year?
Amazing to see so much progression from them though, we must be close to seeing top to bottom runs.
  • 1 1
 @commental: I can't remember exactly which feature that was or whereabouts on the track, so I can't say for sure. I definitely don't have the memory for specific features many others seem to have here, I'll give you that. But yeah I can't remember anyone even really talking about anything else but the road gap, the on/offs and the rocky bit with the tiny lily pad - my reading into this was pretty much that those were the main challenges to sort out in addition to the (still missing) 90 footers. But it could also be what you said, them focusing on what matters more in the long run. Hard to guess eventually, not having been there.
  • 6 1
 5 or 6 Red Bulls before a race sounds like a recipe for a heart attack.
  • 1 0
 you guys here clearly don’t know amounts of caffeine in energy gels that roadies take: I have one which is 200mg for a hit (plus 50g of carbs) - this is ONE gel. so really some red bulls are not that extreme - but should not be taken casually also.
  • 4 0
 I learned only one thing: streaming on YouTube is much more convenient for me than streaming on Eurosport.
  • 1 0
 6. If you're gonna build crazy features, they have to be super dialled and safe for the riders. The canyon gap wasn't that big but the build was not dialled. This highlights the skills of the builders at events like Fest etc. Progression doesn't have to equal danger.
  • 3 0
 2nd pb article to state 2023 results for this race
  • 3 1
 The most impressive thing for me is that Jono has a office job Monday to Friday.
  • 2 0
 5-6 red bulls before the race and won he's probably in a rush to have a massive diarrhea
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore Sorry to bring the bad news, but it's 2024 already. You got it confused in #3
  • 2 1
 Things we learned… Are we not gonna talk about fans not being into the scaffolding spectacle?
  • 1 0
 Tahnee is amazing in the booth and on the track! And the anchor on my PB Fantasy DH team this year!
  • 2 0
 I learner that Mondraker has a killer team this year.
  • 1 0
 Learned Red Bull has a lot of extra scaffolding
  • 1 0
 What is a "corporate job" what is not a "corporate job" ?
  • 1 0
 It's definitely simpler with fewer riders on a shorter track.
  • 1 0
 6. Red Bull gives you wings.
  • 1 0
 Blenki the fastest dad on a belt drive. Let's give him that 100k already!
  • 1 0
 That camo slankets are popular in Wales.
  • 1 0
 That's "Monro", not "Munro".
  • 1 0
 Long live the king
  • 2 1
 F@&k UCI
  • 1 0
 So good
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.035748
Mobile Version of Website