Last night the Athertons and pretty much their entire entourage descended on London for the launch of their 2014 bike and ‘look’ – with the updated GT Fury downhill bike and its 650b wheels along with the team strip, and helmets for Gee and Rachel. We’ve got a few snaps and a write up (on page 2) from the relaxed event courtesy of Aoife Glass and Heather Irvine. First let’s take a quick look around the bike:
Gee Atherton letting the new Fury 650b team bike loose. (Check out more like it on Atherton Racing.)
IT’s 650b! Sigh? Nope, this is really quite exciting. Here’s why:
Yep, it’s very similar to the old bike and there won’t be any prizes for noting that, but downhill racing is about tenths and hundredths of seconds so every small advance in technology has to be considered. OK, a slightly larger wheel may not seem all that exciting in a world that is perhaps slightly tiring of the topic, but the effort that has to go into changing and developing a proven product to ensure that it will perform to the highest level and ensure it will compliment the Athertons’ continued success must be huge. Every little detail has to be meticulously tried, tested and perfected, the team has to have time to certify their absolute confidence in the end product, and the brand (GT) must be sure they are happy that it has a future in the market.
What you see here is the shape of things to come and proof that downhill racing is still morphing with every season; with the 2014 World Cup just around the corner who knows what bikes will prove robust and worthy of winning and which will simply fall behind? Just look at Formula 1 and how a change in equipment has caused chaos at the opening race of the season. South Africa (UCI WC #1) is sure going to be exciting. On that note, stay tuned for news on our 2014 Fantasy League, coming any minute now…
New helmets – but hang on, isn’t that camera a bit dangerous?
Gee and Rachel’s lids are looking good as ever with the old RB blankets. Headcams are a good idea to ensure a rider’s knowledge of the race course and in order for a team to promote itself and the sport too. But hang on, didn’t we hear a rumour of their complete ban in the UK race scene? Officially no headcams allowed at all British Cycling sanctioned races during race runs in 2014, but it looks like practice is a different matter. Wideopen have done a good job keeping up to date about it here.
Here’s a flat-out crash onboard with Gee in 2013 (ouch):