Animal and Athertons part ways

Nothing ever lasts forever, so they say, but this one lasted a long, long time. However the time has come for Animal and the Athertons to go in new directions.

Just had word from Steve Kitchen, Animal Sponsorship manager, and the original Team Animal main man. After almost 10 years the Athertons are to part company with Animal. Here’s the story from Steve:

The story started back in 2002, the Athertons were juniors on Muddy Fox bikes and had big potential.
They were talented, raw, unpredictable and we loved them. From these early days we have seen Dan, Gee and Rachel develop with huge steps to be one of the sports most successful teams of all time. One thing hasn’t changed though, they ride their bikes with a single minded determination, skill and commitment that will keep them at the top sport for many years to come.

The Animal design team have proudly designed the team riding kit, trucks and look and have entered each season with a fresh and distinctive feel to the team. These photos celebrate the last 9 years of Animal and the Athertons and bring back some fantastic memories.

Animal have been racing downhill bikes since 1994, the start of the original Animal team. A team that went on to include some of the best riders the sport has seen. Steve Geall, Tim Ponting, Greg Minnaar, Martyn Ashton and many more fantastic riders who all have played a part in helping to build the sport. The Athertons will confirm their apparel plans early in 2012. For Animal, we will take a break from team support. It’s hard to replace these guys. Instead we will focus on supporting individual youth riders, after all, that’s how it all started with the Athertons…

Thank you, Dan, Gee, Rachel, Simon A, TM Dan Brown and the rest of the team.

Good times!

Steve Kitchin Animal

Some words from the team…

Dan Atherton
I remember my first big race was The Cheddar Challenge back in 99, and the one thing I remember from the event was saying to dad that I really would love to ride for The Animal PlayStation team, three years on and we found ourselves signing up for our first year with Animal…in the 9 years we have ridden for Animal it has never once felt like a sponsorship deal, it has always felt like a Partnership. Steve Kitchin has always made us feel like part of the family and Animal have constantly been a fresh and extremely supportive company to be involved with, thank you.

Gee
My time with Animal has been one I will always look back on with good memories, I remember going to Animal HQ when I was just about to go away on my first photo shoot, and being so stoked that I could pick out all these cool clothes. The guys there have been a lot of fun to work with and helped us roll up to the World Cup circuit in the coolest looking kit each year, with the bike and race truck looking just as smart. The support has been 100% for all these years and I wish them all the luck in the world with their future plans, Cheers guys…here’s to a good 9 years.
Gee

Rachel added
“What can I say about our 9 years with Animal…I remember being 15, being in Canada, taking a helicopter up to take photos on my bike and then one of the photos appearing on a notebook in WH Smith! That sums them up, unconditional support and belief. I tried to pay them back for that with as much World Cup success as I could. Animal have taken us from 3 kids, to one of the most polished professional looking teams out there, and for that we are immensely grateful…Thanks Guys, going to miss you :-)

  1. Mr_p

    sad times

  2. Leon

    I thought it was actually a good thing , fresh team in GT and fresh clothing sponsors in … ?

  3. cristian

    I remember seeing these guys at longmoor army camp racing the pedalhounds series in the 90′s. & the Animal team before that. Awesome !

  4. Dom

    May well be on Fox, seeing as they (were) the GT clothing sponsor…

  5. adam

    Alpinestars would be my guess.

  6. davey

    its not Fox or A stars, just saying ;)

  7. wilkjd29

    Spill the beans davey..!

  8. ed hooper

    I could never understand why Animal didn’t release some good bike specific clothing. Or did they? I don’t know, if they did they sure didnt bother putting it out there. Bring on the new, Nema would be cool.

  9. Noah

    Wow, if you look at the top pic you can see that the Athertons are riding for Muddyfox now! COOL!

  10. K1

    Alpinestars it is!

  11. Armydhteam (jack)

    Troy lee is my guess seen as gee has been using a D3 for quite some time

  12. generator

    I would guess maybe One Industries…they’ll launch MTB line Fall 2012.

  13. Ollie

    Does this mean all 3 of them will have to get rid of 99% of their entire wardrobes?

  14. Factory Olly

    I know One Ind want some high profile riders pretty bad to push their soon to be releases MTB line, in fact I’d say it’s a good chance this is where they’ll end up and with TLD helmets.

  15. Iceman2058

    Maybe it’s actually the Athertons on O’Neal and not Minnaar as we all seem to think…

  16. Anon

    Signed with One-Industries + 661 Protection………

  17. kevolution

    They were in One Industries kit on a recent MX shoot, so that’d make sense.
    And they have an existing deal with 661 that would play well with a brand from the same stable.

  18. TimBud

    TroyLee have just finished painting Gee’s new D3, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of a deal with them.

  19. Sam Morris

    I heard Raleigh are on a comeback and they are very interested in getting the gee and dan but not Rachel cos apparently she smells. They also have designed an amazing looking bike which they are gonna call Raleigh snail. It’s got all the top components like shimano deore xt and a really soft wide saddle designed by Iestyn jones whose tried and tested continuously for weeks and hasn’t broke it so it’s got to be good. Also news just in there skills and fitness coach is Justin hinge. An ex military himself he will have an abundance of knowledge. P.s don’t let that pitbull looking face fool u. Good luck athertons all looks promising for 2012

  20. Tol Hemming

    The Athertons are 100% definetely on GT bikes and One Industries kit

  21. Mr B

    The Athertons are 11% definitely on Penny Farthings and Smith Brothers Haberdashery kit.

  22. raddog

    I’m 100% going to do a poo after I finish the rest of these dry roasted peanuts.

  23. Myles

    clearly fox wernt the gt sponser as mic hannah was wearing astars kit

  24. jon

    no he was wearing fox kit

  25. Wozman

    Anyone know the core reason why they are changing bikes/sponsors? More ££’s, or were the existing sponsors struggling to pay them what they wanted? I can’t see them doing it because they simply fancied a change?

  26. bob

    maybe they had trouble with their commencal distributor in the uk ;-)

  27. Maximilian

    Sponsors are being changed when contracts terminate and there are better options on the table. It’s all part of evolution of things, like in every sport. People need to move forward, companies too. Yesterday folks couldn’t imagine Peaty otherwise than riding an Orange, today they can’t imagine him without his Syndicate kit, but in the end it’s just us all being conservative.

    Good luck to Animal and Commencal, but first and foremost to the Athertons, wherever they may roam!
    Mx

  28. bozo

    That Animal Logo needs to change with the times.
    It was never good to begin with,

  29. nojzilla

    well after the animal A,bike Co debiacle….
    FK animal
    just my opinion :) X

  30. Maximilian

    But of course! Let’s start hating on a company protecting its trademarks, just because it went into hipster BMX territory! As far as I know, Animal (the clothing company) has been around since the late 80′s, while Animal (the bike company capitalizing on brainwashed kids) was born the day before yesterday, in comparison. While I still kinda like Animal watches to this day, their clothing line is definitely not my style, but I have to admit they have a good performance/value ratio that is nice to most people’s wallets. I never used Animal bike parts myself, but I know quite a few guys complaining about their quality.

    So Animal might not be as cool as Animal (sic), but who gives a rat’s ass, really?

    Mx

  31. mikebarr

    I hear they are signing a huge deal with Ocelot and Moose clothing, and vans shoes.

  32. nojzilla

    to Maximilian
    Animal bike Co capitilising! ….. on brain washed kids!!…..
    I’d check your info before you post bullshit

    they’re the biggest influence on the way bmx street riding is today, a MASSIVE influence. an underground new york company true to ther roots since day one (late 90′s btw)

    its more a case of coperate bully’s shitting on the little man an totaly unnessecary, think about it? how many companys share similar or in some cases the same name….

  33. Kate

    They are on Primark.

X

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