Red Bull Hardline 2016 - Be inspired

Red Bull Hardline 2016 - Be inspired

September 22, 2016

Last year's Red Bull Hardline, only the second edition and the first time they let the public in to witness this downhill showpiece, absolutely blew us away. We left feeling truly inspired after our weekend in Wales, having been in awe of the epic jumps and descents that established this event.

Two full suspension bikes, a trip to Bike Park Wales and a downhill holiday in Tignes later, it's fair to say Red Bull Hardline was the instigator of our love for the descent! Let our pics and videos from the 2016 event spark your appetite as well. 

Red Bull Hardline 2016 berm turn before jump

So what is Hardline? It is one of the toughest downhill mountain bike races in the World, taking place right under our nose in the beautiful outdoor scenery of North Wales. It's an event that really pushes the limits of the sport with the best riders showcasing their skills. 

It puts your efforts on the mountain bike in perspective on one hand, but at the same time fuels your ambition to get out there and boost your own skills.

Red Bull describes it as a "long and technical course played on a variety of disciplines, where incredibly steep and rocky technical sections are combined with a motocross run in and 50ft gap jump to create one of the most progressive downhill courses on the planet". 

 

This is not an understatement. Watching these pro riders brave the mix of features at a terrifying pace puts your efforts on the mountain bike in perspective on one hand, but at the same time fuels your ambition to get out there and boost your own skills.

The course is so daunting that each year several participants will not make it to the final - the course is tough on both bikes and bodies.

Dan Atherton and his digging crew are behind the design of this beast: "The mindset was to create something that tested every discipline and mixed them together into one awesome course, so it was about creating a course for the riders, something that would challenge them and that they’d love to ride" said Dan Atherton as he talks about the course details with Red Bull. 

Red Bull Hardline jump dirty ferns section

The airtime, the jumps, the near misses, the drops, the almost slips and landing clips - this spectacle covers it all on a track of 2.7km. The crowd are in constant admiration and envy as some of Britain's bravest downhill mountain bike riders put all their energy into surviving the track while seeking the thrills. The Hardline course is so daunting that each year several participants will not make it to the final - the course is tough on both bikes and bodies.

One of the big advantages of a mountain bike event like this is that you get to wander around the hills spending your day outdoors, immersed in the green scenery and stunning mountain range. As much as sporting events go, you couldn't land in a more satisfying setting. 

The track guides you high up in the hills, through the woods, with nothing but a few ropes to help you get up some of the climbs, with riders flying past at regular intervals. By the time you make it to the top, you feel well warmed up and deserving of the mountain tops and waterfall views after a bit of exercise. Even with a few gaps in the schedule, everyone just seemed to settle on the ground and enjoy their surroundings. 

Red Bull Hardline Finish line last rider

After the seeding descents featuring rock drops, wet muddy trails in the woods, steep landings and a lot of precision bike handling, it was a close final that got us and the rest of the spectators enthused, adding to a great event atmosphere.

Gee Atherthon, whose mechanical troubles got him crawling down between the rocks with a punctured tire last year, immediately set the benchmark with his fast time, despite riding with a shoulder injury and the memories of earlier crashes on the course. Having not ridden a qualifier he was first out of the blocks, clocking a quicker time than the fastest qualifier; Bernard Kerr, putting the bar high right from the start. Atherton's time remained unbeaten throughout the final up to the point there were just 3 riders left to go.

Ruaridh Cunningham, last year's winner, was the 1st one to beat Atherton's time as he really pushed himself in the last section of the course; impressive speed and commitment. The Scot flawlessly finished the last section and jumped ahead of Gee by just over a second. 

Red Bull Hardline 2016 road gap drop

Adam Brayton was next up to aim for the top of the leaderboard. A lightning fast start hinted at a promising performance, however he raced across the line just under a second behind Ruaridh's final time.

Finally it was time for the last rider, itching to show his skills to a geared up, enthusiastic crowd: we were guaranteed a thrilling finish. Bernard Kerr came flying down the mountains and as he pulled across the finish line, he snatched up 1st place by 2.4 seconds up overall. Surviving it in one piece from start to finish was an achievement and the main goal for all riders, but these guys looked pretty pleased with their podium place - and very well deserved. 

On a side note...the day out was also a great opportunity for us to test out our brand new mountain bike inspired print 'Up Lifting'. Spot the well timed mid-air flight  to match - one landing a bit safer than the other, and the slight look of disappointment on David's face as he misses the action. 

Red Bull Hardline 2016 Tshirt Mtb Downhill

 



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