Kiwi George Brannigan in the Ninth edition of ‘Fearsome’ MTB event in Wales

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The gnarliest UK downhill mountain bike race of the year is back with the ninth edition of the fearsome Red Bull Hardline event in the Dyfi Valley of Wales seeing event creator Dan Atherton delivering another tough test for the world’s best riders.

– Former British MTB downhill champion Atherton has spent the past year subtly tweaking the course – a brutal part-downhill, part-freeride track played out in classic, unpredictable Welsh weather.

– In 2022, crowds were welcomed back for the first time since 2019 with junior World Cup DH champion Jackson Goldstone taking advantage of a Bernard Kerr mistake to claim a rookie win as New Zealander Jess Blewitt became the first female athlete to take on the course.

– This year, 25 of the world’s best riders have travelled to Snowdonia in north Wales a few miles north of Machynlleth and close to Dolgellau, villages with access to all types of MTB trails and bike parks.

– The track – designed and built by Atherton and Ollie Davey – is a beast, snaking its way down the mountain and combining huge freestyle jumps with extremely technical downhill features and damp forest sections.

– With gigantic step-ups, gaps and speeds of up to 65kph, it is fair to say that the Hardline course is the gnarliest downhill track in the UK and, arguably, the world alongside Red Bull Rampage in Utah, USA.

– For 2023, the track remains the same as last year, when two newly-built sections in the middle of the run made it even more demanding with riders expected to send the on-off jump that replaced the old ‘Dirty Ferns’ hip and the huge back-to-back doubles even harder this year.

– Previous winners Kerr, Gee Atherton and Craig Evans are all lining up in Wales with 2021 runner-up Laurie Greenland and two-time Rampage winner Kyle Strait also looking for the victory while Josh Bryceland, the former wild man of the World Cup circuit, will also suit up this week.

2023 Red Bull Hardline riders
Gee Atherton GBR
George Brannigan NZL
Adam Brayton GBR
Edgar Briole FRA
Josh Bryceland GBR
Ronan Dunne IRE
Kade Edwards GBR
Theo Erlangsen RSA
Craig Evans GBR
Brendan Fairclough GBR
Sam Gale NZL
Thomas Genon BEL
Laurie Greenland GBR
Charlie Hatton GBR
Sam Hockenhull GBR
Matteo Iniguez FRA
Bernard Kerr GBR
Thibault Laly FRA
Josh Lowe GBR
Harry Molloy GBR
Jim Monro GBR
Flo Payet FRA
Juan ‘Johny’ Salido MEX
Camilo Sanchez COL
Kaos Seagrave GBR
Joe Smith GBR
Kyle Strait USA
Juanfer Velez COL
Taylor Vernon GBR
Gaëtan Vige FRA

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