Watch // Gee Atherton goes deep on why injuries will never stop him

A two-time downhill World Champion with numerous World Cup victories to his name, Gee Atherton has enjoyed remarkable success on two wheels. But perhaps what makes the British rider so special is his ability to bounce back from severe injuries and progress the sport to whole new levels.

Appearing on Red Bull’s ‘Just Ride’ podcast, Atherton talks overcoming adversity, seeking out new challenges and previewed the 10th-anniversary edition of Red Bull Hardline. The now 39-year-old Atherton, who got his first bike for just £10 aged 10, has enjoyed remarkable success throughout his career but has also had to overcome some serious setbacks. As with many downhill riders, he has suffered his fair share of injuries such as dislocating a hip and breaking several bones.

Then there was the crash in 2021 while filming ‘The Knife Edge’ that saw him suffer a punctured lung, a fractured eye socket and a severely broken femur. Atherton admits he came close to quitting in the aftermath of that accident, but after 15 months of physical and mental recovery was soon back in the saddle.

Afterwards, I did think I never wanted to ride again. But I think it was a coping mechanism, a way of dealing with it all. I knew it was bad, but I was soon telling myself this would never happen again,”

Gee Atherton

This dedication and passion for the sport is what led Atherton and his MTB track pioneer brother, Dan, to create Red Bull Hardline. The first edition of the event was held in 2014 and provided riders with the chance to tackle a course with a succession of mammoth jumps, boulder drops and technical descents. Over the course of the last decade, the course has evolved, and Atherton believes this year’s event will be the toughest ever thanks to a new top section.

Gee Atherton

When we first built Hardline, we wanted to make it as gnarly as possible. The next year, we had to progress it again and we’ve had to do this for 10 years. Now, we can’t make it any bigger, so we have a whole new top section.”