Taylor Vernon says he “needs to train like an animal this winter". The latest member of the rapidly expanding Atherton/GT team, an outfit that in size resembles the powerful, ever present Animal team of the last century, Vernon takes his place as the young pretender.


Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones

Except he has some true forces to shelter him to a degree, and, well he doesn’t seem like one to arrive with a hell of a lot of noise in the first place – solid handshake, nice mum and dad, and like team Atherton, he’s not a massive fan of the A49. Somehow old Vernon’s going to be seeing a lot more of that road I reckon as he slots into what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest teams in world mountainbiking.

Some change then to his early days on a Da Bomb, albeit sporting Troy Lee kit, the Bridgend boy is partial to a bit of Florence Welch, the lad who “got KOM on Granma’s track", the very same one who says that Rich Thomas should bath more frequently. See Taylor, you’re going to be in the spotlight now you’re hanging with them that chose the Welsh side. Maybe they felt that they needed something a bit more indigenous when they invited you, what with Dan (Athy) hell bent on creating the eighth and ninth wonders of Wales, ‘The Yard’, ‘The Quarry’…bring on Grant Boyce and Tom Lloyd. Bit of caviar is it?

‘TV’ hates decision making, rides like the wind, doesn’t like school, trains like an animal, just got back from the eye of the storm that is Benalmadena, more training before he slips into juniors. Racing in the youth class he’s had a reasonable season winning eleven out of his twenty starts, not bad statistics, but far from perfection. He’s the National Champ, he’s had a very strong end to the nationals season. He moves to GT, ups the expectation, keep on smiling Taylor, keep the twits happy and remember “Rita Ora, I would open you up like a tin of beans."