Dan Atherton, new team mate Martin Maes and mechanic Matteo Nati will meet this weekend for their first full outing as GT Factory Racing’s new Enduro team.
They will travel to France for the Metabief Open Enduro supported by Kali.
The race will be the last training race in their individual build up to The Enduro World Series and their first working together.
Riders: Dan Atherton, Martin Maes.
Mechanics: Matteo Nati.
Metabief is a good all round track, not super steep.
We know that there will be five timed stages and that links will involve a chairlift as well as pedaling. There isn’t a practise session so riders will be tackling the course blind.
Martin will ride the GT Force LE
Dan will ride a very early stage prototype bike using 650B wheels.
Dan is very comfortable on 650B wheels and so is working with GT’s engineers to develop a race bike adapted to Enduro’s specific requirements, as a team we relish in making these bikes as fast as possible and we’re lucky to have the ability to do this with GT away from any restrictions.
Enduro racers need a bike that allows them to be fast on any kind of terrain, as efficient uphill as it is downhill. This is a different approach to a All Mountain bike as there is an added racing factor to be considered, the bike needs to be fast….. simple. The World Series and key races like Metabief will take Dan on to many different terrains, perfect for the kind of direct feedback needed to perfect the bike’s design.
This bike may evolve considerably before GT even decide to take it to the market, its a R&D project with no set timeline at present.
Moderate rain, heaviest on Saturday morning then becoming colder with a dusting of snow on Sunday morning. Mild temperatures (max 7°C on Saturday afternoon, min 1°C on Sun night) with a fresh wind on Saturday night calming by Sunday night.
It’s 10 years since Dan raced Metabief but he has fond memories of the place as the first race he ever rode with a chairlift as part of the South West’s On a Bike series!
Current situation – Dan’s Perspective
“Martin’s coming into this race with 4 out of 4 wins under his belt so it’s going to be great to ride with a new team-mate who’s so on it and in such fantastic form. I had a good time with the win at Afan but was disappointed with the 4th at Riva del Garda so I’ve some work to do.
Actually what I’m most excited about is getting the new bike built up and riding it, then riding it some more – there’s a lot to do before I even think about the racing.
The key thing about this weekend is going to be us working together, getting used to having each other in the pits, how we both work with Matteo – this will be the first time out for us as a full team set up – Matteo’s only had to manage us one at a time up till now. It’s all about preparation for next week and the kick off of the World Series – it seems crazy that it’s time already!