Rachel Atherton dominated the World Cup series over 2015, taking wins at six of the seven rounds and gaining the World Cup Champion title in the process. She looks on unstoppable form, and next in her sights are the World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra.
Atherton is looking to add a third World Championship title to her already impressive palmeres, and she'll be riding her tried and trusted GT Fury World Cup DH bike, but with a special custom paint job in red, white and blue. Vallnord has seen an Atherton victory back in 2008, when she took the top spot on the podium in a year that also saw her take the overall World Cup Champion title for the first time.
GT Factory Racing was one of the DH teams to switch to 27.5 wheel size in 2014, and going by riders' results in 2015 the change clearly hasn't had a detrimental effect. GTFR's rigorous approach to testing, where each tweak to the bike is tested, recorded and compared, allows them to accurately work out the optimal set up for each rider, and the varying race courses and conditions. However, it's a secretive system as James Huang discovered in 2014.
Although Atherton's height of 173cm puts her in the size medium frame range for the retail versions of the Fury World Cup, she rides a custom sized frame that measures up between the medium and large retail versions.
Apart from the red, white and blue livery for this special edition version, the main updates for the 2015 version of the GT Fury occur in the suspension. The Fox RAD of 2014 is replaced by the new Fox DHX2, 425lbs spring shock, which isn't available to us mere mortals until 2016. On the front end, an improved airspring version of the Fox 40 Float RC2 is tuned to 68psi.
"I'm so stoked with my new GB flag Fury," Atherton says. "It looks amazing, but more importantly I know that underneath she's just the same brilliant bike that has helped me and held me all season – gonna need her this weekend in the mud!"
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: GT Fury, custom sized
- Paint: Red, white and blue
- Shock: Fox DHX2 425lbs spring (available 2016)
- Fork: Fox 40 Float RC2 , with improved airspring 68psi
- Stem: Pro Tharsis 9.8 45mm
- Headset: Hope Integrated
- Grips: Pro Star Series
- Bars: Pro Tharsis 9.8 45mm 760mm
- Front brake: Shimano Saint BR-M820 w/ 203mm RT98 rotor
- Rear brake: Shimano Saint BR-M820 w/ 203mm RT98 rotor
- Brake levers: Shimano Saint BL-M820
- Chain guide: Shimano Saint SMCD-50
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Saint RD-M820
- Shift levers: Shimano Saint SL-M820
- Cassette: Shimano Saint CS-M980, 11-13-15-17-19-21t
- Chain: Shimano Saint CH-M981
- Crankset: Shimano Saint FD-M820, 165mm, 38t
- Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB80
- Pedals: Crankbrothers Mallet DH Race
- Rims: Stan's NoTubes Flow EX, 32h
- Hubs: Shimano Saint HB-M820 and FH-M825, 32h
- Spokes: stainless steel, butted, 2x lacing, w/ alloy nipples
- Front tire: Continental DerKaiser Project, 27.5 x 2.4in, tubeless, 25psi
- Rear tire: Continental DerKaiser Project, 27.5 x 2.4in, tubeless, 25psi
- Saddle: Pro Tharsis 9.8 carbon
- Seatpost: Pro Tharsis 9.8 carbon
- Other accessories: Hope seat post collar
- Rider height: 173cm
- Rider weight: 65kg