Atherton's Make MTB History
June 1st, 2008 will go down in mountain biking history as the day when one team, one family completely dominated a World Cup weekend. They’re a remarkable family of mountain bikers, but even in their wildest dreams the Atherton’s probably never thought they would have a weekend of collective success to match the one they’ve just put together in Vallnord, Andorra.
It all began on Sunday evening when older brother, Dan, took the World Cup 4-Cross event from two of the legends of the sport, Oakley’s multi world-champion Brian Lopes and Guido Tschugg of Germany. The next day, Rachel Atheron won the women’s Downhill by more than eight seconds.
The exploits of his brother and sister, not to mention the hometown crowd, left Oakley’s Gee Atherton with enormous pressure going in to his final run, but given the competitive nature that runs in the Atherton family, this would only have served as even more inspiration to go on and get the win.
Gee did what was required, hooking it up on every turn, getting the power down at every opportunity, however at the split, he was 0.33 seconds down on Sam Hill and going into the final technical section. Emerging from the trees everyone in the arena knew it was too close to call and it was going be down to Gee’s ability to accelerate along the final straight to take the victory. In his home town of Commençal, nearly everyone in the crowd was willing Gee to win and when he crossed the line 0.31 of a second ahead of Sam Hill, the place just went crazy. Watch the VIDEO
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It was three World Cup race wins in less than 24 hours for the family. It’s never been done before and unless they themselves repeat it, it’s highly unlikely to happen again. But for the record it’s worth repeating – that’s three Mountain Bike World Cup wins inside a day by three different members of the same family.