The Return of Dan Atherton

In July of 2010 British mountain biker Dan Atherton sustained a terrifying injury. A crash at his monster sized dirt jumps in North Wales resulted in a break of the C1 Disc in his neck. Just about the worst injury a rider could sustain and survive. Dan’s constant commitment and dedication that he puts into his riding was then needed to get him through the recovery. With months in a brace and none of his life’s usual manic activity, there were low moments along the way and plenty of time for contemplation. Dan’s determination to recover was only enhanced by his desire to return to the highest level of the sport that he has achieved so much success in before.

On the 20th January, Dan received the results of a final CT scan from Dr Robert Bray, the spinal specialist who has been overseeing his treatment. Red Bull’s Darren Roberts, the Atherton families personal trainer, accompanied Dan and had this to report, “The fractures have all healed and the tiny fragments of bone which are loose will be absorbed by the body over time, there was a slim possibility that an operation was required to remove these – but thankfully that op is not needed. More importantly Dr Bray said the words we’ve been waiting to hear since July 2010, ‘you’re good to go Dan, totally healed – get back on your bike and get riding hard. Try not to break it again’.”

It is with great happiness that we can announce Dan is now back on a bike and in full training, this moment was never a certainty as the injury to the C1 Disc was one of the most catastrophic ever seen. With strength and conditioning training to get him back to full race fitness his aim is to return to World Cup competition at the second round of the series in Fort William, Scotland. Concentrating on the discipline of downhill he’s hoping to take his new Commencal Supreme bike back to the podium glory he enjoyed before this incident.

The Atherton team and family would like to thank all the sponsors and friends that have stood by Dan through this difficult time and worked with him to get back to this point where he can continue to shine in a sport to which he has brought so much of his unique attitude, style and speed. Here’s to the return of Dan Atherton to his rightful place, on a bike.

20 Responses to “The Return of Dan Atherton”

  1. This is the best news we have heard in a while in the DH/MTB scene….Thank God you are back Dan, and specially because God gave you another chance man…make count again!!!

  2. rob says:

    im very happy dan is well now i been off bike from nov with badly broken hip etc and dan has given me hope .

  3. Billy Craig says:

    Good to see your back riding Dan, good luck for 2011…

  4. Ben Philpot says:

    Great to hear your all healed and back! I remember watching the episode of the Atherton Project almost immediately after it hit YouTube and being so shocked but so impressed at how strong you were after even a few days. It great to see you back on a bike and training hard!
    Heres to a successful season!! :)

  5. Lars says:

    Great to read that you´re totally healed. Finally a good news =]
    Hope to see you all this year in Willingen again (“Wheels-of-Speed”).
    Gee still to has a score to settle with the last years race result (damn flat tire)
    Greetings from Germany | Lars

  6. jonathan says:

    great news will be great to see you pushing hard as always and giving gee a ru for his money hahaha

  7. Jordan Richmond says:

    Great for your speedy recovery.keep up your training and have a great season back. try not to break it again lol jks, but seriously, all the best and have a good first season back ps give gee and rach a run for their money good luck

  8. Sharon Strickland says:

    Dan that is truly a miracle! May 2011 season be successful! You are an inspiration with your determination and courage to push on. You did it! You are proof that the mind is a powerful tool. God bless you and keep you safe. Here’s to a strong, relentless season that will be your best ever! :)

    Laugh often, love much & ride happy!

  9. stop fascism says:

    Maybe you’re right, but I still have my own opinion about this.

  10. VonDH says:

    Nice to see you back again Dan.
    also nice to see the Atherton Project being aired on BT Vision :-)

  11. JP Gargan says:

    Hopefully thats the last bit of bad luck you will have sustained for along time. Great news to hear. Top man for commitment. You got alot of exceptional people around you. Heres to you and Team Anthertons Success!

  12. Razmo says:

    hi Dan
    first of all soory for my english
    I’m a french fan of atherton family and I saw this week that you just back on your bike
    great news for you and your family

    so good luck enjoy riding
    your the best ….belevie in you
    and lots of success during your season

  13. ben says:

    ive broken my back six weeks ago going off a north shore training for my first ever race and im wondering how long it took for you to be fully recoverd. ( ive broken vertibrays 5, 6, 7. and fractured my skull thats how hard core i am)

  14. VonDH says:

    Good to see your on 3 minute gap Dan , Top rider

  15. Anna says:

    Dan, much respect, you are amazing.

  16. davedisaster says:

    much respect dan, i know people who have been in a brace for 4 years with an injury like that, to come back within a year is a great achievement

  17. Ashley says:

    Hi Dan please don’t kill yourself, your a Dad, doesnt mean you have to sacrifice your self does it? be patient, it’s been a while since you rode, though that accident was BMX not DH right.
    Just a thought, but what is the max age for DH, you and Peaty are there, can you keep going till your 50?
    the worst killer for loads of stuff is boredom, don’t let yourself get down with the sport, make inspiration, find inspiration, change your look maybee, a new Dan?
    I hope that you can conquer that sibling rivalry thing and I hope that both Gee and Rachel, will help you and support you.

  18. msk says:

    These worse (rainy) days & take care of yourself.

  19. Filippo says:

    congratulations on the maxi avalanche! and congratulations for 3 Minute Gaps

  20. I am glad he is back and its a miracle that he is. The injuries he sustained in my opinion would have retired most people but not him.

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