Riders gearing up for the Red Bull Foxhunt!
Photos: Red Bull Content Pool
Next week, 400 riders will feel the thrill of the hunt as Red Bull Fox Hunt returns for its third year; this time to the picturesque surroundings of the Mourne Mountains in County Down at the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails.
In last year’s event Gee Atherton managed to fight his way to second place
Downhill mountain-biking legend, multiple World Cup winner and current favourite for the 2013 title, Gee Atherton, returns to Northern Ireland for the innovative downhill-pursuit challenge where the hunters become the hunted!
This time ‘The Fox’, Gee Atherton, is in pursuit of the Hounds; 400 bikers, who hail from NI, ROI and England, all competing in this fast-paced cross-country, downhill mountain bike chase on the new tracks at Kilbroney Park.
Following qualifier Time Trials on Saturday the 5th of October, the chase will begin in earnest with the blast of a bugle on top of Slieve Martin at 4pm on Sunday. Competitors can take in the beauty of the Newry and Mourne Scenery before descending through sections of trail, moorland and forest to the sprint finish in an attempt to win the coveted bespoke Red Bull Fox Hunt trophy.
Last year’s race saw Gee beaten to the finish by competitor, Greg Callahan. He said, “Foxhunt was probably my biggest win to date. It felt pretty damn good to beat someone of such a high calibre. I definitely had a bit of a buzz in me for a while after that one. Hopefully this year’s race will be just as good, the guys always put on a great event.”
And for those who have the advantage of already knowing the Rostrevor Biking Trails, don’t be surprised if you encounter a few bends in the road! Red Bull have brought in trail design specialists to construct a track in order to truly test its competitors. The 3.5 km single track is made up of variable mountain-biking terrain, including fast descents, gravel transitions, forest trails as well as steep drops and jumps. This epic course is not for the faint of heart and is guaranteed to give both Gee Atherton and the massed hunters a seriously tough challenge!
Speaking about the Red Bull Fox Hunt last week, Gee Atherton said, “I’ve been waiting for it all year. I was second last time so now I’m looking to win it but it’s getting a bit more difficult every year because everyone is pushing harder and the nature of the tracks, but I’m definitely there to win.”
But Fox Hunt is not just for the competitors. Spectators are more than welcome to come along and cheer for the hounds (or the Fox!) during time trials and the Hunt itself. The Red Bull Dodge will blasting out some tunes to help the riders get into the zone and both catering and toilet facilities will be available on site. Whether you’re rooting for the hunters or the hunted, this race is shaping up to be one of our most exciting to date.