Last weekend’s Mountain of Hell lived up to every letter of its name for Dan Atherton yesterday as the battle for third place cost him dearly, but young gun Martin Maes stormed to an amazing 2nd place overall.
The team had another early start to make their way up the glacier at 5am yesterday morning but the weather was beautiful, the course was riding well in excellent condition and the race started well for the team who led all the way off the start.
Dan was leading and feeling confident and in good shape when he dropped off an off-camber road and his shoulder dislocated. Dan said – “It hurt like hell but I got it back in pretty quick – and I was still in the lead so I got back on and headed on down.”
Unfortunately he then took a wrong turn and was passed by Jamie Nicoll. Dan said – “I wanted this win so I went after him – there was a long climb, longer than I’d calculated and I was just going for it when I hit the wall – I’ve never felt so bad.
Jamie got away, Martin caught up and encouraged me on. He rode a really solid ride – Congratulations to both of them.”
Enduro team mechanic Matteo Nati said “For Dan to have that amount of intense pain and still to get the third is super-human. And such a solid run for Martin confirms his confidence and skills on the bike, 16 years old and second in this hard-core, grueling race. “
Martin said “ I am very happy with the New Force, and with my race yesterday but we’ll miss Dan very much on this next leg of our tour.”
1 Jamie NICOLL 30:28.223
2 Martin MAES/ GT FACTORY RACING 31:16.912
3 Dan ATHERTON / GT FACTORY RACING 31:49.738
4 Fabien SELLIER / LES 2 ALPES 33:18.343
5 Arno FAUCHER / ROCKY SPORTS TEAM 33:30.464
Photos by Sven Martin:
Martin Maes seen at Val d’Alos