On Monday Gee rode the German Downhill Cup at the IXS Dirtmasters Festival, smashing his way to a clear victory in front of an ecstatic crowd.
The festival attracted over 50,000 fans reflecting the growing popularity of the sport in the country and causing both of GT Factory Racing’s riders to classify them “the rowdiest, most passionate ever.”
Saturday’s practice went well for Gee but team-mate Marc Beaumont crashed into a wooden stake at speed. The stake shattered but Marc escaped with just bruises – still enough to hamper his pedalling and keep him from any further part in the race.
Sunday’s seeding saw some sun with the track becoming dusty and faster as the day went on, Gee rode with assurance to take the lead by 3.43 seconds.
Race day was super wet, super slippy . The course itself is short but in great shape – it has plenty of testing sections – from the rooty and technical to flat pedally stretches. Gee faced the added challenge of avoiding the spectators who pressed closer and closer during his race run to get the best view.
Gee was last man down, he put in a flawless run to better his seeding time and take the win from home favourite Marcus Klausmann by an awesome 6.16 seconds, Andrew Neethling finished third 0.3 behind Klausmann.
Gee said “That was awesome, Marcus Klausmann set a challenge and these guys on the sidelines lifted me all the way. At this stage of the season it’s all about race preparation so when I’m in that start gate it feels like a World Cup.”
1 Gee Atherton GT Factory Racing 2:05:663
2 Marcus Klausmann Ghost Factory Racing 2:11.827 +6.1654
3 Andrew Neethling Giant Factory off Road 2: 12:152 +6.489
4 Marcelo Gutierrez Giant Factory Off Road 2: 12:593 +6.930
5 Wyn Masters Team Bulls 2: 13.094 +7.431
Photos: Thomas Dietze