The worst kept secret in mountain biking has been confirmed – the Athertons are on GT bikes for 2012. They'll be joined by fellow Brit and current GT rider Marc Beaumont on the new GT Factory Racing squad.
While Gee and Rachel will continue to race downhill – with a bike swap from the alloy Commencal DH V3 to the carbon fibre GT Fury – Dan will make the switch to the burgeoning discipline of gravity enduro following a tough 2011 after breaking his neck in 2010. We expect to see him on the 150mm-travel Sanction and Force. Marc will race both disciplines.
We expect to see Gee, Rachel and Marc on the GT Fury this year – maybe not in the same lurid yellow colour, though!
“The new relationship that’s formed between Atherton Racing and GT has opened up so many opportunities for everyone involved," said Gee. "I’m stoked to be going into the next few years of racing being bolstered by a company with such a passion for the sport, and whose drive for the top step of the podium matches my own."
“Atherton Racing are one of the most progressive teams in the history of mountain biking and are known for taking the sport to the next level,” said Mark Peterman, GT's global general manager. “We’re excited about the partnership because it both continues GT’s legacy as the brand that helps progressive riders push their limits and because of the opportunities it presents to develop new products.”
GT say the team will "provide important product testing feedback" and will work hand-in-hand with them on "future product advancements and the next evolution of GT mountain bikes". If we were GT, our first move would be to update the carbon Fury with the more up-to-date angles used on the new alloy version.
As well as changing bikes, the Athertons will sport new clothing from motocross brand One Industries, replacing long-term sponsors Animal. Does this mean we'll see a bike-specific range from One Industries soon? We hope so.
You can check out Beaumont's 2011 GT Fury in the video below: