…and the UK’s first ever 4X win
Animal Commencal team rider Gee Atherton took his first career 4X win at the World Cup opener in Vigo, Northern Spain. Having seen his older brother Dan qualify first Gee was determined to show the 5,000 Spanish spectators that he too meant business. The brothers progressed through to the quarter finals despite Dan crashing heavily in the first round, his injury sustained in the crash was hindering his riding so it was no surprise he bowed out in this hotly contested round.
Gee however knocked out world number two Australian Jared Graves and the UK national champion Will Longdon on the way to the final. With world Champion Micheal Prokop, mountain bike legend Brian Lopes and top Dutch rider Joost Winchman as competitors the final was always going to be close.
Gee gated well heading into the first corner in 2nd behind Prokop, by the 2nd corner all four were jostling for positions, Winchman took the corner wide and made a move on Gee, Gee wisely applied his brakes and let Winchman through, now moving too fast for the next section Winchman crashed and flew off the side of the track, Gee now back in 2nd and was closing down on Prokop, the World Champion was obviously feeling the pressure as he made a mistake crashing on the 2nd to last straight. Gee got round Prokop and held off Lopes to claim his and the UK’s first ever 4X win.
Not content with winning and leading the 4X Gee went out on Sunday and placed 6th in the downhill. With a torrential downpour halfway through the finals Gee set off 7th from last and in the worst possible conditions, despite this Gee missed out on the podium by the smallest of margins and he was happy with his result. “It would have been so good to win both Downhill and 4X this weekend but the weather was against me today, maybe next time!”