Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Photo credit - Moonhead Media

Dan, Gee and Rachel announce the launch of Atherton Bikes!


Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton are excited to announce the launch of their new bike brand, Atherton Bikes. The siblings will partner with renowned suspension designer Dave Weagle and utilise ground-breaking additive manufacturing technologies combined with carbon fibre tubing to “create our ultimate range of bikes.” Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Piers Linney will join as a co-founder of the newly formed company with the introductory Atherton Bikes range scheduled for sale in 2019.

The Atherton Bikes brand has been a lifetime in the making with Dan building his first bike in 1992 when he was just 10 years old. But in recent times the family’s dream of pushing bike development as hard as they push their riding has become irresistible.

Dan Atherton said “It’s always been a dream of mine for us to ride for our own bike company. We’ve ridden for some great brands and we’re proud of the part we’ve played in the development of DH bikes from the Commensal to the Trek Session and trail bikes like the GT Sanction. We’ve always really enjoyed the process, from working with the designers on the early stages through to testing and refining prototypes on the World Cup circuit. But because of the way that the sponsorship system works we’d soon be starting over with a new brand.

I’m enormously grateful for all the opportunities that system afforded us – we all are, but for us it’s always been about pushing the boundaries of the sport. Back in 2003 we started Atherton Racing so that we could to do things the way we wanted, from building our own tracks, to producing edits like the Atherton Project and events like Red Bull Hardline. Now feels like the right time to put our hearts and soul into a range of bikes designed and built our way.”

Gee continues “We will start with what we know best, focusing on high level product designed to be ridden aggressively! For 2019 we’ll race our own prototype bike and we’re planning to bring that DH bike to market, along with a range of trail bikes. We’re working with some amazing guys formerly of Robot Bike Co., and they’ll be an essential part of our start up, they are as passionate about the technology and its potential to disrupt the industry and shake-up the large corporates as we are.”

The Athertons met Ed Haythornthwaite, one of Robot’s founders, when he was Dan’s World Cup mechanic in 2006 and their ongoing friendship was the catalyst for this venture. Ed’s understanding of what works on a bike and his passion for improving a rider’s experience underpins the development of the entire range.

Ed’s co-founders, Ben Farmer and Andy Hawkins both come from an aerospace and Formula 1 background. They are experts in composites and additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing) which allows for full customisation of every bike frame.

Gee said “The additive manufacturing process is so responsive that we’ve been able to test and adapt a series of prototypes that ride like the finished bike; this constant cycle of innovation means that we can get our race bikes dialled much more quickly and that every purchase of a production bike will be at the very forefront of this development.”

Rachel said “The dream has always been to race our own bikes, and the additive manufactured bikes are so exciting and ground breaking - the ultimate bike! Through our entire career we’ve been proud to represent our country and support the next generation of bike riders, so the fact that we can deliver our new brand through a UK based company is just incredible and the icing on the cake for us!

We all believe that having the right bike for you and the stage you are at with your riding can transform your experience. Our big goal is to see kids, all mountain explorers, bike park shredders, racers and e-bikers enjoying our bikes – just saying that sounds mind blowing!

This is a genuine start-up business that we are building from the ground up, it’s going to be a huge undertaking to bring our bikes to market, even with Piers on board to help us. Our learning curve is steep but the dream of bringing Atherton Bikes & our love for riding to everyone is about to be very real! 

Piers Linney said “As a rider myself I’m extremely excited to be working with the Athertons to deliver a new product range that meshes my enjoyment of MTB with my passion for new technologies. Exciting times ahead.”
More announcements on our race team, line-up and key partnerships in the coming weeks, follow Atherton Racing and Atherton Bikes on social media for all the latest.



Photo credit - Moonhead Media

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

NWES 2019 Rules Package features Pure Racing at its best!

 
If you love Pure Racing, the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2019 season will meet your expectations. Fresh of another intense and exciting season filled with door-to-door on-track battles and American-themed family fun, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is making no compromises in 2019. After announcing an expansion to seven events, the official NASCAR series in Europe will double down on its best Pure Racing features both with its technical and its sporting regulations. The goal is to give its competitors even more parity and the fans the best racing in Europe.
“At a time in which most racing series are searching for themselves and trying to balance the performances of their competitors, Euro NASCAR is putting the emphasis on Pure Racing. We make no concessions for the sake of the show because parity is natural within the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” said NWES President-CEO Jerome Galpin. “There will be no ballast, no balance of performance, no position penalty of sort. It’s all about drivers and teams racing in perfect parity and offering the fans close, hard racing battles. Our focus is on sport, passion and human relationships. When the green flag drops, let the best win!”
Here’s a brief overview of the most notable changes awaiting competitors and fans at the season opener in Valencia, Spain on on April 13-14, 2019.
2019 NWES TECHNICAL PACKAGE
General Tire new official tyre supplier of NWES: General Tire will make its debut as the Official Tyre Supplier of NWES. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be the American brand’s first motorsports partnership outside North America and there are plenty of expectations for General Tire’s new products to offer great performances and durability. Confirming the series’ strong cost containment policy, a maximum of 20 new slick tires will be allocated to each driver for all qualifying and races of the season. Practice and rain tires are not restricted.
New three-way adjustable suspensions: To provide competitors better performances and driveability, new spec shock absorbers have been developed by Team FJ, manufacturer of the Euro NASCAR. With three adjustable parameters they will provide better handling and more possibilities for teams and drivers to find an edge on the competition.
New aero package: The Euro NASCAR cars will receive aerodynamic enhancements thanks to a new rear spoiler designed with transparent polycarbonate and steel. The 2019 spoiler will also give drivers better visibility in their rear view mirrors and make the Euro NASCAR beasts even more wild.
Continuously improved technical inspections: With the support of the NASCAR R&D Center located in Concord, North Carolina, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series keeps putting the biggest efforts to ensure parity among the competitors and 2019 will see a further enhanced technical inspection process being deployed at the track.
2019 NWES SPORTING REGULATIONS
Calendar expanded to 7 events: 2019 will mark the first season with seven events for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The Official NASCAR series in Europe will add Most, in Czech Republic to the calendar and return to Raceway Venray for its oval round. Double points Playoffs Semifinals and Finals will be raced at Hockenheim and Zolder.
Longer ELITE 1 races: Saturday and Sunday ELITE 1 races will be extended to 75 Kilometers for a running time closer to the 45 minutes mark. They will pose a bigger challenge to the competitors and offer the fans more excitement in the final stages of each round. ELITE 2 races will stay with the traditional 60 Km sprint format.
Longer ELITE 2 Qualifying: ELITE 2 drivers will get the opportunity to find their best pace in qualifying with a first round extended to 20 minutes before the top-12 drivers will join a nail-biting 5-minute Superpole to determine the pole position and the first 6 rows of the grid. ELITE 1 Qualifying will stay with 10 minutes Qualifying and 5 minutes Superpole.
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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Gian Luca Guiglia

Friday, 30 November 2018

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Ulysse Delsaux crowns himself 2018 ELITE 2 champion

 

The 2018 ELITE 2 season is in the books and Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) is the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 Division champion. The Frenchman finished third in the second Circuit Zolder Final, just behind his main opponent Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who came just short in the championship battle but brought home the Rookie Cup. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) won the race in dominant fashion in front of his home crowd.
Entering the last race of the season, Delsaux had keep a close eye on Venturi, who was only 8 points behind him. Venturi overtook early but only managed to finish second, so the RDV Competition driver could control his own destiny and bring home the first title of his career.
The ELITE 2 championship represents a unique achievement for Delsaux, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome early in his life and found in racing a way to express himself. The 21-year-old grew incredibly both as a driver and as a young man in his five years in Euro NASCAR and bringing RDV Competition their very first NASCAR drivers title further adds to Ulysse’s excitement.
“It’s unbelievable”, said Delsaux after winning the 2018 ELITE 2 championship. “Before the race I was really stressed. I tried to control my emotions and focus just on the race like always in this amazing season. Many, many thanks to my team: they were incredible, they all did a great job. Also thanks to my family and fans who are always supporting me. I really don’t have the words right now!”
Dumarey, who put up a dominant performance at his hometrack, was able to lead the race flag-to-flag, winning his second race of the season. The Belgian had a technical issue in the first Final but managed to come back to the track and post the fastest lap of the race to start from the pole in Final 2. That proved to be key in today’s strong performance.
“Yesterday was disappointing because of the problem we had,” said the Belgian, who turned 32 two days ago. “But we came back and grabbed the win today. I’m really happy. This weekend we were the quickest and we wanted the win so bad because of the bad luck we had during the whole season. My wife and my little kid are watching at home and cheering for me. The team did a great job and we are happy to win here in front of our home crowd.”
Venturi, who finished second in the race, came up short in the championship by just 6 points. But the 17-year old Frenchman won the Rookie Cup and will get a chance to race in NASCAR in the USA. He defeated Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry), who completed the 2018 Rookie Cup podium.
Seventeenth under the checkered flag, Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) won the Legend Trophy for a record third consecutive time, setting a new record. There has never been a driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to win any title or trophy three times in a row. He beat Francesco Parli (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry), who closed the Legend Trophy top-3.
Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the close battle for the 2018 Lady Cup by finishing 21th, just ahead of Arianna Casoli. At the end of a tense, season-long battle, just 3 points separated the two contenders.
Coming from the very back of the field, Canadian driver Jean-Fran├žois Dumoulin (#04 Spectra Premium – RDV Competition Toyota Camry) climbed up to 15th in his second ever NWES race as part of the first drivers exchange between two NASCAR International Series.
The ELITE 2 Division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return in 2019 and next season’s schedule will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. Delsaux will now head to Charlotte for the traditional prize giving ceremony at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
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Monday, 10 September 2018

Winners!! Rachel and Kade both bring home the rainbow stripes!! Race Report: UCI World Championships 2018


It was an absolutely awesome day in Lenzerheide with World Championships wins for both Rach and Kade and a 3rd place podium for Mille! What a storming finale to the season!

Finals day dawned hot. The track was the driest it has been all week and conditions were “pretty much perfect”. Lenzerheide is renowned for being tricky and loose with big drops, huge roots, tree stumps and rock gardens – there would be plenty to keep both riders and crowds entertained!

Practise and Qualifying


Both practise and quals were pretty rowdy! Our Atherton Academy rider Mille  ( riding for Norway) had a huge practice crash, she landed on top of her close friend Paula Zibasa and had to watch Paula helicoptered off the hill. Come quals she had a bit of a shaky start, stalling four times in the top section, but in the bottom section she was on fire, closing to just 12 seconds behind Vali Holl to go into 2nd.

In the Junior Mens’s race Kade was delighted with a Quals win 8 seconds clear of the field and for the Women’s Elites Rach edged out Tahnee Seagrave who crossed the line 0.66 back. Myriam Nicole was DQ’ed for going outside of a pole.
There were certainly no foregone conclusions going into Sunday!

Finals

First up was Mille. She had a strong start but a crash after the third corner cost her valuable time. Mille said “I had a good start and after my crash was a really good run too so yeah I’m happy to be on the podium but sad at the same time!”

And then there was Kade.

 We first met a 13 year old Kade when came to an Experience day with his dad and he’s been part of the team since he joined the Atherton Academy in 2014. We’ve believed in him every minute of the way so the entire team were stoked to see his huge potential realized today with a World Championships win in his last ever ride as a Junior. – and by a massive 4.4 seconds!

Kade said “Massive thanks to everybody who has had my back  - this season has been tough but today blows everything out of the water!”
 
In the Women’s race Myriam Nicole put quals misfortune behind her with a scorching run to take the lead by over 5 seconds.

 Then just the top three qualifiers were left on course.

Tracey Hannah didn’t make any major mistakes but didn’t quite get in to contention with Pompon , then Tahnee came out flying – 1.2 seconds up by the second split, she rode a little more conservatively in the middle sections, through the site of her qualifications crash , she was 0.2 back by split 4 crossing into  the hotseat by just 0.6.

Could Rachel better her closest rival and neighbour to take her 5th Elite gold medal and 6th World Championship?

Yes she could! Rachel was on fire! Going 3 seconds up by split 1 and 6 seconds clear by split 2, her intentions were very clear! She was 8.5 seconds up by split 3 in a total league of her own and she kept on the attack all the way to the line, crossing 9.98 seconds clear of the field!

Rachel said “I’m stoked!!  This was the Worlds run so I knew that I had to throw everything at it, I knew it would have to be special, all the way down I thought I was going to crash! Tahnee and PomPon have been pushing me so hard all season, I was watching them all weekend thinking “ I’m going to have to push on… I’m buzzing!”

Gee was devastated not to have been selected for the Men’s team for the first time in his career – despite a storming return to form that saw him finish 9th in the World Cup overall so he was on indispensable line-spotting duties this weekend and come the Men’s Finals the team yelled for our ex team-mate and Atherton Academy star Martin Maes! The race was super tight with less than a second between the top four and Maes-dog’s 2nd place podium was a small consolation. Congratulations  to Loic Super-Bruni on the win!

Finals results

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.15.73
2 Tahnee Seagrave +9.98
3  Myriam Nicole +10.67
4 Marine Cabirou ++15.96
5 Tracey Hannah +20.72

Junior Men
1 Kade Edwards  GBR 3.03.22
2 Kye Ahern AUS +4.4
3 Elliot James CAN 5.43
4 Thibault Daprela FR 5.811
5  Henry Kerr GBR 5.815

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl  AUT 3.39.72
2 Anna Newkirk USA +10.88
3 Mille Johnset  NOR + 16.69
4 Nastasia Gimenez FRA+17.29
5 Paula Zibasa  LAT +22.7

Elite Men
1        Loic Bruni  FRA 2.5.11
2        Martin Maes BEL 2.55.32 + 0.21
3        Danny Hart GBR 255.41 + 0.3
4        Loris Vergier FR 2.55.86 + 0.75
5        5  Aaron Gwin USA 2.56.45 + 1.3

Quals Results

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl 3.59.02
2 Mille Johnset  + 12.32
3 Anna Newkirk +14.7
4 Mathilde Bernard +21.97
5 Paula Zibasa +35.433

Junior Men
1 Kade Edwards 3.11.17
2 Patrick Butler +8.2
3 Kye Ahern +9.94
4 Thibault Daprela   10.61
 5 Giacomo Masiero +12.12

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.38.07
2 Tahnee Seagrave +0.66
3 Tracey Hannah  +5.44
4 Cecile Ravanel  +9.70
5 Marine Cabirou +12.01

Elite Men
1 Brook Macdonald 3.03.20
2 Loris Vergier ).6)
3 Connor Fearon +1.78
4 Martin Maes GT Factory Racing  +1.84
5  Aaron Gwin + 2.18

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

First place for Rach, Second for Gee,Third for the juniors & Team of the Day at La Bresse!! Race Report: UCI World Cup 2018 Round 7



Today was one for the archives with a spectacular win for Rachel and a nail-biting second for Gee that shows he’s right back where he should be. The juniors both podiumed in third, Charlie put yesterday’s qualification tension behind him with  solid 29th place and we were team of the day – 2nd in the tem overall.



Racing from La Bresse today was savage.  The course is the shortest on the circuit this year but the first rainy race of the season was absolutely brutal! Luckily the team’s training in the harsh Welsh environment stood them in massively good stead!

First up was Mille who said “ it was good, I wasn’t taking any risks after yesterday’s crash , keeping control, but I was just happy to be racing and getting down safe!”


She finishes the season 5th overall.

Then Kade, first qualifier yesterday took another third place and finishes his final season as a junior in third overall.

Then it was time for the Women’s Elites.

In “one of the hardest races” of her career;  through fog, rain, and standing water Rachel  laid down the power to take her 37th World Cup win. It was her 3rd win of the 2018 season and enough for her 6th World Cup Overall title – more than any other female rider in the history of the sport.

Rachel had qualified second to Tahnee Seagrave and she knew that today’s race would require something extra special. She said “I tried to think strategically – maybe I should have played safe and focused on the overall – I needed to come 4th or maybe 5th today to clinch the title but as soon as I’m in the start-gate I just want to race! Tahnee had such an epic run in qualis that I knew I’d have to go full blast!



Rachel was aggressive from the start, extending her lead every split to cross the line 11.66 seconds clear of the field. Only Tahnee Seagrave was left on course.

Tahnee fought valiantly but crossed the line 0.6 seconds back leaving Rachel to claim the spoils.

Charlie improved hugely on yesterday's quals to finish a solid 29th.


Could it be a fairytale ending for the team?  Gee had qualified first but the new rules meant that he started well down the field. When he came on track our friend and Atherton Academy graduate the Enduro star Martin Maes was in the hotseat after an absolutely spectacular run.


Gee went into the green by split 1, he dabbed a foot but extended by split 2 to 1.77 seconds clear, then he lost a little time and slip-slided through to the finish 1.39 back on Maes. It was a pattern that would be repeated all afternoon.

The team  held their breath as rider after rider failed to get in touch with either Martin Maes or Gee,  second place today for Gee and into the top 10 of the overall rankings at number nine.

Gee said "Massive congrats to my brother Martin Maes for that win, so stoked to finish the World Cup season on full charge!"

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl 2.56.14
2  Paula Zibasa Sram Young Guns Racing 3.13.71 +17.56
3 Mille Johnset 3.14.62 +18.47
Junior Men
1 Thibault Daprela  Commencal/Vallnord 2.34.29
2 Henry Kerr Propain Dirt Sixpack 2.35.01 +0.72
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 2.35.04 +0.7

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.51.42
2 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 2.52.05 +0.63
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.03.08 +11.66
4 Tracey Hannah  Polygon UR 3.03.45 +12.03
5 Katy Curd 3.06.53 +15.11
Elite Men
1 Martin Maes GT Factory Racing 2.26.84
2 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing 2.28.23 + 1.39
3 Brook Macdonald MS Mondraker team 2.29.96 +3.12
4 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 2.30.62 + 3.78
5 Bernard Kerr Pivot Factory Racing 2.31.0 4.16

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Rachel Atherton wins at La Bresse! That’s a record-breaking 6 World Cup Overalls! Race Report: UCI World Cup 2018 Round 7


In “one of the hardest races of (her) career” through fog, rain, driving water and a short but SAVAGE track at la Bresse in Northern France UK rider Rachel Atherton has taken her 37th World Cup win,  her 3rd of the 2018 season and enough for her 6th World Cup Overall title – more than any other female rider in the history of the sport.

Rachel had qualified second to fellow Brit Tahnee Seagrave and knew that todays race would require something extra special. She said “ I tried to think strategically – maybe I should have played safe and focused on the overall – I needed to come 4th or maybe 5th today to clinch the title but as soon as you are in the start-gate I jut want to race! Tahnee had such an epic run in qualifiers that I knew Id have to go full blast!

Rachel was aggressive from the start going into pole position by split 1 and extending her lead every split after that to cross the line 11.66 seconds clear of the field. Only Seagrave her close neighbour in the Welsh borders  and close rival throughout this entire season was left on course.

Tahnee fought valiantly but crossed the line 0.6 seconds back  leaving Rachel to claim the spoils.

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.51.42
2 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 2.52.05 +0.63
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.03.08 +11.66
4 Tracey Hannah  Polygon UR 3.03.45 +12.03
5 Katy Curd 3.06.53 +15.11

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Silverline Bike Security Advice




According to crime statistics, more than 376,000 bicycles are stolen each year, which works out at about one every 90 seconds. There is some evidence that bike thefts overall have steadily decreased from a 2011 high of 515,000.
But - while opportunistic theft of low-value, unlocked bikes remains by far the most common offence - the number of high-value bicycles being stolen is increasing. That worrying trend has been attributed, at least in part, to the rise in popularity of ride-tracking apps such as Strava, Relive and CycleMaps.
Police believe that technology-savvy thieves are using information cyclists share on the internet to locate houses where expensive bikes are being stored.
More than half of all cycle thefts in the UK occur in and around the victim’s home, in places like gardens, passageways and in outbuildings such as sheds and garages.
Silverline, proud partners of this year’s Prudential RideLondon series and one of the biggest and best-loved tool brands, offers these top tips for securing your bike effectively:
  • Check the privacy settings on both ride-tracking apps and social media accounts. Change the settings so that, if you still want to share your ride statistics online, only friends and connections can see your starting and finishing position.
     
    For extra security, consider randomising your start position, switching the app on 100 metres or so away from home to confuse the data.
     
  • Use an appropriate lock. If you are leaving your bicycle outside or in an outbuilding, make sure you use a high-quality lock which can’t be easily broken. Chains can be easily snipped so, if your bike is high in value, spend a little extra on a U-Lock. Bike locks are graded ‘Sold Secure’ gold, silver and bronze. Silverline’s High Security Bicycle U-Lock, made from ultra-hardened steel, has been graded gold, offering the highest level of security. View the range here http://www.silverlinetools.com/en-GB/Products/Bike%20Tools/Bike%20Security
  • For further peace of mind, Silverline also sells dummy security cameras which are a cheap and effective way to make would-be burglars think again. View the link here http://www.silverlinetools.com/en-GB/Products/Security/Electronic%20Security/614458
  • If you must leave your bike outside, lock it to something secure. The best locks will be useless if the object the bike is attached to can be easily broken. Mesh fencing, for example, can be easily snipped with wire cutters. Also, be mindful about attaching bicycles to poles in streets. If they are not tall enough, the whole bike can be simply lifted over the top.
     
    Select a place to leave your bike which is well lit, in public view and, ideally, near visible CCTV.
     
  • The frame, front wheel and back wheel must all be locked. Just locking the front wheel means it can be easily detached and the rest of the bike stolen. If you only have one lock, remove the wheels and feed the lock through all the separate parts.
     
  • Registering your bike is important. It deters thieves if they see it has been marked, and it also increases the chances of getting it back if the worst does happen. This can be done at www.bikeregister.com
As the number of £1,000-plus bicycles in the UK increases, it’s sadly inevitable that there will be thefts. It is impossible to completely safeguard against theft of any sort, but the risk can be minimised by following these easy, inexpensive steps.