Continental-Atherton Race Team athlete, Charlie Hatton, has won Gold for GB in the Men’s Elite Downhill UCI World Championship. Closely followed by teammate Andreas Kolb (Austria), the pair put down blistering race runs in treacherous conditions at Fort William – often cited as the most challenging racetrack in the world.Atherton Bikes’ AM.200 paired with Continental’s Kryptotal Fr tire delivered this confidence, supporting world-class performance in loose track conditions. A true grassroots British manufacturing success story, Atherton Bikes was founded in Machynlleth, Wales in 2019 by Team GB superstars Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton, holders of a collective eight World Championship titles and fifty World Cup wins. All Atherton Bikes are designed and manufactured in Machynlleth by a team of local experts. Charlie and Andreas’ World Championship wins mark the next generation of silverware for the Atherton’s bike brand and Continental-Atherton Race Team, following World Cup wins from Mille Johnset at Women’s Junior level, two Women’s Elite World Cup wins with Rachel Atherton, and Andreas Kolb’s previous Elite Men’s World Cup success.
With the weather switching from dry to torrential rain mid-way through the event, Charlie and Andreas were forced to contend with rocks, roots, and drops that became increasingly difficult to ride with each run. In these conditions, it was critical that the athlete had full confidence that their bike and tires would allow them to ride aggressively regardless of traction and terrain.
Charlie Hatton, 2023 Elite Men’s Downhill World Champion, said: “To win the World Championships is unreal!! But to win in front of the home crowd, on a British-built bike designed by my friends on the team, with my training partner taking the Silver… it just hasn’t sunk in yet, I’m lost for words.”Andreas Kolb, 2023 Elite Men’s Downhill World Championship silver medallist, said: “To win the silver behind this man is an absolute privilege, I couldn’t be happier. We both felt so confident, the bike is incredibly stable and always carries speed – it still feels like I can go faster.”
Charlie and Andreas’ success also marks the first Elite Downhill World Championship win for Continental tires, following years of collaboration with the Continental-Atherton Race Team to develop the award-winning Gravity mountain bike tire range. Tested alongside the athletes at the Atherton’s Dyfi Bike Park outside of Machynlleth, the Gravity range has been proven to excel in particularly rough and loose conditions.
Oliver Anhuth, Head of Bicycle – Americas, Continental, said: “We could not be more pleased for Charlie and Andi! They both put down absolutely next-level race runs in conditions that bettered many of the world’s top riders – it was a demonstration of exactly what’s possible when a rider has total confidence that their tires will grip exactly when and where they need them to. Charlie and Andi, alongside Rachel, Dan and Gee have collaborated with Continental for 5 years now, and it’s thanks to their ongoing feedback and expertise that we’ve been able to make a product that can help racers on the way to the podium at the highest level of the sport, and that everyday riders can experience too.”
Kelsey Rollet, Bicycle Marketing Manager, Continental, said: “I am so stoked for both Charlie and Andi, having watched them both develop as racers over the last few years. I’m honored to be a part of such an incredible team and experience the hard work and dedication that both Continental and Atherton Bikes have put in to be where they are today. I can’t wait for what the future will bring.”
Dan Brown, CEO, Atherton Bikes, said: “We are still pinching ourselves. For a small Welsh company bringing new technology to the bike industry to achieve this so quickly is just crazy! We printed our first bike in 2019, and now to be the first British bike brand to take that Elite World Champs win… honestly, it’s still sinking in.”Gee Atherton, Co-Founder of Atherton Bikes, multiple World Cup winner and former World Champion, said: “We know how incredibly hard it is to win a World Championships and how much value sits in it for us as a company. Gold and Silver is the dream! We know that our bikes are good and that the best way to showcase this is on the World stage, this weekend’s performance on hardest track in the world proves just how good. We’ve been ambitious with what we wanted from the bike and that shows up in its performance against such big global brands. We’re super proud of all who contributed to the bikes, the team and of these two talented riders leading the charge.”