Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton are delighted to confirm that their long time partner and collaborator Continental Tyres will become joint title partner for their 2020 downhill race team. The team will be known as Continental Atherton, or in full, Continental Atherton MTB Race Team.
Team Director Dan Brown said “Racing is at the core of everything we do but our relationship with Continental has always gone beyond the traditional team partnership model. Our shared history developing the top-performing tyre ranges Kaiser 2.5 and Mud Kings provides a strong foundation for future innovation.”
Gee Atherton added his thoughts “This is a true joint venture with all of us striving to make the strongest product. We welcome the opportunity to use our combined experience in partnership with a committed R&D team. We’ve made a solid start with some exciting developments in the mix and I’m looking forward to testing the tyres in the toughest conditions on the World Cup circuit and at Dyfi Bike Park.”
2020 looks set to be a big year for the new Continental Atherton team as they build upon 2019’s three World Cup wins aboard their own brand Atherton bikes.
Rachel Atherton said “Racing our own bikes is one of the best things that ever happened to us but its also hugely challenging. Having Continental step up to support us at this level means a lot, especially as I work to get strong again after my Achilles injury. Having a brand as respected as Continental share our aspirations and back our plans for the future has been a massive boost.”
Oliver Anhuth, Continental’s Global Head of Marketing, said “We’ve worked with Atherton Racing for many years in the past, and stepping up as joint title partner of the Continental Atherton team feels like a natural and progressive move for Continental. There hasn’t been a tyre manufacturer giving top-tier sponsorship support for a long time – it is time for us to lead the way in the serious business of downhill.
This partnership also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the talented racers in the team, and of course, gives us a seamless opportunity for further product development which will give us credibility in the bicycle industry overall and advances in the tyre market specifically.”
In terms of rider line-up there are no surprises this season with Charlie Hatton re-signing to the team for his 3rd season as he continues to challenge for a top ten spot on the World Cup circuit.
Charlie said “I’m stoked to be riding with the team again, I had a few decent results last year, 2nd in National Championships and 1.5 seconds off podium in VDS but I feel I have a lot more in me. I want 2020 to be the year I make that break into the top ten and to know that this team believes I can do that is invaluable. I’ve been working on all aspects of my riding this winter, following Gee always pulls you along! I’ve been training a lot harder in the gym too so I’m a lot stronger, I can’t wait to see the results come race day.”
The team will continue to support Mille Johnset as she takes her place amongst the Women’s Elite.
Rachel Atherton said “We’ve been working with Mille since she was about 14 years old, through the Atherton Academy, her graduation to full race team and the Junior World Cups and now as she takes the huge step up into the senior ranks. We all know what a challenge this first season as an Elite can be so we’re pleased to support her through this phase of her development and excited to see what she’ll do.”
In line with the Athertons’ vision for stability and consistency at this point in the team’s development there have been no changes in the team’s on-bike partner line-up established in 2019.
Dan Atherton said “When we started our own bike brand last year we took the decision to work only with brands who would drive product development as hard as we will. These partnerships and the progression that they fuel are a significant part of our vision for the sport so it makes perfect sense that there is on-going commitment on both sides.”
On the bike we are delighted to continue our work with
FSA ( Drive train) Renishaw ( World leaders in Additive Manufacturing used to create the lugs on our Atherton Bikes) Trickstuff (brakes) Stan’s No Tubes ( wheels and sealant) Fox Suspension WTB ( custom saddles) MRP (Chain Devices) Renthal ( Cockpit) Rockguardz ( Mudguards) And Crankbrothers ( pedals)
Off the bike we continue our successful relationships with Endura (Clothing), Bell Bike Helmets, Ride Concepts (shoes) our local Welsh start up Kingud ( ecological cleaning products) and the best test ground out there, Dyfi Bike Park. We are pleased to confirm a new partnership with Unior tools for 2020; Unior will kit out our racetruck and our workshop at Team Headquarters with their high quality and ergonomic tools.
Red Bull, GoPro and Oakley continue their invaluable support to the riders as we look forward to an awesome season ahead.
Catch the team in action at the UCI World Cup Series as well as Sea Otter Festival and selected Crankworx and Red Bull events.
Photos: Dan Griffiths/Moonhead media
Video: WeArePeny/Robbie Meade