Rac­ers’ twists and turns defy be­lief

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

ONE of the world’s tough­est down­hill bike races took place in Mid Wales this week­end – and it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to watch with­out hid­ing your face in your hands or gasp­ing in dis­be­lief.

The fifth edi­tion of Red Bull Hard­line, this pun­ish­ing, grav­ity-de­fy­ing – not to men­tion highly dan­ger­ous – course was built by Dan Ather­ton, ac­claimed racer and brother of twice Down­hill World Cham­pion and mul­ti­ple in­ter­na­tional award win­ner, Gee Ather- ton. Set in the Dyfi Val­ley, the route has long been no­to­ri­ous for test­ing the nerve of even the most skilled rid­ers, boast­ing steep drops, nar­row rock paths, tight wooded sec­tions and epic, nose-bleed jumps – the last of which saw rid­ers travel 65ft through the air as they sped to­wards the fin­ish line

That’s the equiv­a­lent of four dou­ble decker buses.

And among those join­ing the Wales-based Ather­ton broth­ers in the 29-strong line-up for yes- ter­day’s event was Greg Min­naar, the most suc­cess­ful down­hill moun­tain biker the sport has ever seen, and for­mer World Cup Cham­pion Josh Bryce­land – a fan favourite and one of the most gifted rid­ers in the sport.

Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it along to see all the thrills and spills live, you can still catch the in­tense ac­tion on www. red­bull.com at 6pm tonight.

But, be pre­pared, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

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