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A Day in The Life of a World Cup Racer: Charlie Hatton

Photography by Dan Griffiths | Words by Charlie Hatton



Twenty three year old Charlie Hatton is one of two elite male riders representing our Continental Atherton race team.



Last week we saw Charlie and the team head out to Lenzerheide, Switzerland for the fourth round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. It was a successful weekend for the team and they'll carry this momentum into Snowshoe next week for rounds five and six.


Atherton Bikes' Photographer, Dan Griffiths, caught up with us in Lenzerheide to capture the in-depth workings of the team and spent some time documenting all the happenings of race day from the perspective of the riders.


So without further ado, 'A Day in The Life of a World Cup Racer'.



My day starts around 8am, I'm in A practice so fortunately I don't have to wake up too early... Mille is already on track by the time we wake up! I have breakfast with Andreas around 8:30 - we have a chef on the team, Phill Ferguson who looks after us really well, I usually have eggs on toast with mushrooms and spinach.



After breakfast I'll chill with Andi for about an hour before we head down to the pits - we'll watch GoPros from the previous day and I'll visualise the track in my head a few times.


We'll roll down to the pits about an hour before practice starts - the first thing I'll do is head over to my locker and lay out my riding kit ready to go.



I start warming up about 25 minutes before practice with a 15 minute spin on the turbo and 10 minutes on mobility and stretching.



Then I'll go up for my first run - I'll just cruise through lines while my mind and body wake up - conditions in the morning are normally quite a lot different from the afternoon before, dew on the ground makes it pretty slick so it's good to ease into things and get a gauge for the course before speeding things up.



We tend to head back to the pits after each run - we'll watch the previous run on GoPro and I'll chat about lines with Andreas - I'll also talk to my mechanic, Chris, about how the bikes feeling but I try not to change too much on race day, that work was substantially done in the off season with some tweaks for the particular racetrack early in the week.




On my second run I try to build the speed up towards race pace and make sure everything feels dialled, I'll also make sure I've got my lines dialled as this is usually the last opportunity to do so before my race run.



Back in the pits I'll chat to Andreas and Chris again and make sure everything is ready to go - I'll try and eat food, but I find it hard on race day because of the nerves.



The whole team works really well together - team coach Alan Milway is on hand throughout the week to help with line choice and race preparation, Tom Lloyd, our team manager keeps everything running smoothly so we can fully focus on racing and in Lenzerheide, although out of action, Gee was around to support and advise on racing.




I'll start warming up one hour before my race run; I do 25 minutes at the bottom before I head up with Chris - on the gondola I have my headphones on listening to music and getting myself in the zone - drum & bass and rap are my go to.




At the top I'll spend 15 minutes warming up on the turbo trainer with some mobility stuff and I head over to the start gate 8 minutes before start time.




By this point I'm ready. As I sit and wait at the start line I'll do one more visualisation of the track in my head and make sure everything is ready to go on the bike, I normally start in fourth gear.



My goggles go on about 30 seconds before I drop in, I fist bump Chris, take one last sip of water and listen for the starting beeps... 30 seconds, 10, then 5... I leave as early as possible after the five second warning.




Once dropped in I'm fully focused on the task at hand, taking it all as it comes, the warm-up really helps me get in the zone beforehand and once I'm flat out there's no time to think about anything else but the course in front of me.



A few minutes later I'll cross the line, I look back at the time and hopefully it's green!


If it's been a good day I'll get to spend some time in the hot-seat, I watch the rest of the race before heading back to the pits.




First job back at the pits is to eat! Before the race I find it really hard to eat so I'm normally pretty hungry by now - I'll catch up with the other riders, it's really chilled once the racing is over - then we'll help with packing down the pits.



Finally it's back to the apartment for the evening meal where Phill has cooked us up a treat, I'll catch up with family and friends on the phone - the race week is done!



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