Racers’ twists and turns defy belief
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.