Triumphant return to Downhill for Dan

Nov 22, 2012

First and second for GT Factory Racing as Dan Atherton and Marc Beaumont smash the 2012 Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge

Triumphant return to Downhill for Dan.

Dan and Marc triumphed in Cikole, West Java yesterday despite the wettest conditions that either of them has ever raced.

Asia’s No.1 Downhill Race was presented by Specialized as part of the country’s 6th Annual bicycle day and attracted an ecstatic Indonesian crowd.

Both riders have been blown away by the welcome they received in Indonesia and the amazing support that they have experienced. Dan’s 2012 season has focused on the new discipline of Enduro, culminating in a win at Superenduro Pro 6 at Finale Ligure, the climax of the Enduro season. His Asia Pacific victory has particularly pleased the fans as it represents his first Downhill podium since his catastrophic neck injury in 2010.

Marc said “Dan rode really good. I’m so glad that we got the chance to visit Indonesia, I’ve been blown away by how intense and enthusiastic the fans are over here, they are so knowledgeable about our sport.” Dan agreed “ The support has been amazing. It’s been great to have this opportunity to give something back to Shimano who’ve been a solid support to Atherton Racing for years.”

Indonesia’s tropical climate brings intense rainstorms that disrupted practice and left the track extraordinarily slick.

Both riders were happy with their seeding runs which left Dan in 1st place and Marc in 3rd with Mitch Ropelato in 2nd “I would say that is some of the most slippery dirt I have ever ridden on” commented Marc.

Race day brought more hard rain, which continued throughout the whole event.

Both riders admitted that the extreme conditions left them dreading the race run but their wealth of race experience and well-known technical skills stood them in good stead.

Marc said “The race couldn’t have gone better really - I had a few small goggle issues and a few small mistakes but those were to be expected given the conditions. I’m so pumped that GT Factory racing came away with the 1, 2.”

Dan added “ I knew that Marc was going strong so I just tried to smash the corners as hard as I dared - after the first two corners it started to feel like fun!”

The riders will now travel to Bali for a few days well-earned rest before returning to Atherton HQ and the rest of their winter training.

All Photos: Fraser Britton