Yes, so the ‘worst kept secret in mountainbike history’ is here, it is official, the Athertons and Marc Beaumont will be riding for GT Bicycles.
So yes, we have all been waiting for the official press release, well here it is: World Cup stars Gee, Dan and Rachel Atherton will all be racing on GT Bicycles for the next three years, but here’s the twist, fellow British rider Marc Beaumont will be joining them too. The Atherton family have always been a tight-knit unit, so the addition of another ‘family member’ is interesting. Marc doesn’t live too far away from Atherton HQ and has of course known the family for years, and with him already being on GT it must have seen to be a logical step. So the very nature of ‘Atherton Racing’ is maturing and changing (not sure what is happening with Mick Hannah at the moment).
So after five years with Commencal bikes they join up with the mighty GT. GT have a huge history in cycling, from the early days of their all-conquering BMX teams to their all-powerfull mountainbike teams…I mean who hasn’t ridden for them? Mike King, Nico, Peaty, Lopes, Barel, Kintner…the list is almost endless. But this is definitely a new chapter in GT’s history. Beaumont and Hannah have done great things for the company (who can forget Beaumont’s Val di Sole victory in 2010), but bringing the Atherton’s on board means that they mean some serious business.
(above) Rachel, Dan, Gee, team manager Dan Brown and Marc hanging out at Atherton Racing HQ, checking out their new ride.
The other sponsor change is in clothing, in come One Industries. Not known to have had a huge amount to do with mountainbiking in the past, this all looks set to change. This move can only be seen as positive.
So racing…Gee, Marc and Rachel on the full World Cup circuit with Dan doing Enduro, we’ll have to wait for the complete race schedule. That is a fair old line up, surely the strongest out there? We’ll just have to wait and see…
Here’s that Press Release:
GT Bicycles and Atherton Racing Join Forces
Bethel, CT – January 10, 2012 – GT Bicycles is proud to announce its partnership with Atherton Racing. Beginning in 2012, the mountain bike race team of Dan, Gee, and Rachel Atherton, will join non-family GT rider Marc Beaumont and form the new team GT Factory Racing.
“Atherton Racing is one of the most progressive teams in the history of mountain biking, and is known for taking the sport to the next level,” said Mark Peterman, Global General Manager GT Bicycles. “We’re excited about the partnership because it both continues GT’s legacy as the brand that helps progressive riders push their limits, and because of the opportunities it presents to develop new products.”
Over the past five years, Atherton Racing has seen over 50 professional victories and multiple World titles. For the first time, the Atherton team will also include a non-family member with GT rider Marc Beaumont. As a consistent World Cup downhill rider with podiums in some of the world’s greatest Enduro races, Beaumont will compliment Gee on the UCI DH circuit, and Dan on the Euduro circuit, as his focus has shifted towards Enduro-style events. The team will be riding the GT Fury, Sanction, and Force Carbon and Alloy.
In addition to racing, the team will provide important product testing feedback and work hand-in-hand with GT on future product advancements and the next evolution of GT mountain bikes.
“The new relationship that’s formed between Atherton Racing and GT has opened up so many opportunities for everyone involved, I’m stoked to be going into the next few years of racing being bolstered by a company with such a passion for the sport, and with a company that’s drive for the top step of the podium, matches that of my own,” said Gee Atherton.