Dan Atherton recently injured himself during training and is out for the first round of the Enduro World Series. We asked Dan a bit about their training, the new bikes, events he’s looking forward to, and more. Check it out inside.
Photos: Laurence Croosman-Ems
Q.1 Training is a big part of the offseason. What have you been doing differently this year in comparison to last year.
This year was the second year working with Alan Milway. That’s been the biggest factory in what made Gee and Rach win so much last year. We worked off the gains from last year and the progression was much faster since we had a relationship with Alan already. The two training camps we did this past winter were the most progressive camps we’ve had yet.
Q.2 What was the best part of your 2013 Season?
The first Enduro World Series (EWS) of 2013 was probably the highlight. Martin and I both ended up on the podium as well which was great as it set us up well for the start of the Enduro season.
Q.3 Racing takes on a new level every year. Diet, training, and power delivery have become more important for success. Has more attention been paid for you guys?
Working with SRM and using their equipment has been great. You also need someone who can read and incorporate that data into the training plan. Alan has done a great job doing this for us and coupling it all together helps make for stress-free training.
Q.4 What was the best track for you in 2013? Looking forward to any specific venues?
Finale Ligure is an amazing place and I love that race. It’s important and an industry standard for the sport. Many people go there and it’s really a benchmark for the industry when it comes to Enduro.
Superenduro 2012 – PRO6 race – Finale Ligure : SuperEnduro TV
Q.5 Bike setup is a key part to racing. What has the team done differently this year? 650b downhill bike?
The downhill bike and the enduro bike go hand-in-hand. We’ve been working on that platform for some time now with GT. It started off with the downhill bike and we began testing different setups and wheel sizes. We ended up tweaking the Enduro bike off that chassis but it handles quite similarly to the downhill bike.
Q.7 Behind the scenes there’s a lot that makes a team successful. Can you comment on some of the things you feel have been important?
It comes down to working closely with the designer from GT Bicycles and he was quite passionate about building a great downhill bike. He would fly over and ride with us and get direct feedback from us. From the mechanic knowledge and the experience from all the riders it helped make a winning bike.
Q.8 What are the biggest challenges for the team in 2014?
Rach will have to stay hungry from 2013 as she did so well. It’s hard to find new goals and new things to motivate themselves. She’s goal driven and she wants to win every race. For the team in general it’s going to bigger than ever with new riders onboard.
Q.9 What are the major challenges that you see coming for Enduro racers?
The biggest challenge i’ve had to overcome is that Enduro is a long sport. It’s spaced out over days and it can be hard to not go 100%. I need to learn how to pace myself and we’ve been working on that.
Q.10 More teams are dedicating resources and riders for Enduro. How is the team handling this and promoting the sport?
We have added Martin Maes to the team and he’s the next big thing. Nothing excites people and the media more than a junior rider coming to the top.
Learn more about the 2014 GT Factory Team launch here. Follow the team at http://athertonracing.co.uk/
Photos: Laurence Croosman-Ems