Red Bull Hardline 2015: Our anticipation was high for this event. Described as the “toughest downhill race ever run” it attracts some of the world’s best downhill mountain bike riders to stretch their limits on a very technical and demanding course. Here are a few snaps we took to share the action as it was set in stunning surroundings.
It’s only the 2nd time this event has been held, taking place against the beautiful hilly backdrop of Mid-Wales, and last year’s edition wasn't even open to the public; which only made us count down to it that bit more.
Built by professional UK downhill racer Dan Atherton, former Great Britain national champion and on this occassion 1st victim of his own downhill landscaping after a test ride resulted in a crash and broken shoulder, the course delivered plenty of gap drops, spicy turns and intimidating jumps.
After a steep climb up the Welsh mountain hills through the mud, it was an incredible spectacle to see great talent fly through the woods and tackle the challenging downhill course.
On Saturday, the Welsh weather didn't do the track any favours, making the top section of the track unrideable and turning some of the jump landings into complete stand stills. A bit of trial and error during the practice sessions definitely got a few ”ooows” and “aaaws” from the crowd.
The course turned out to be such a beast that by the final racing day only 8 riders remained to tackle the challenge. One of the most impressive obstacles was the road gap, leading the riders straight into a turn, dropping almost straight over the heads of the spectators.
Former World Champion Gee Atherton had the fastest time during qualifications. Unfortunately a blowout ended his race, but regardless he still made it all the way down the hills on a tyre-less rim. Some people never stop to amaze.
Quoted from the official report, Ruaridh said, “The course was incredibly tough, mentally and physically the toughest I have ever ridden. It was good to see everyone get down safely and I am delighted to take the win”.
This beautiful scenery combined with the intimidating speed, endless airtime and crafty obstacles left us longing for more. Pumped up by these inspiring performances, we are ready to get out on the bikes.
Special thanks to Luke Ryan who accompanied us on the trip and shared some of his stunning pictures with us for this post.
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