Has Red Bull Hardline gone too far?

9/9/2022 4:50pm
Red Bull Hardline is taking place this weekend, and in case you haven't seen any of the action, this year's track looks bigger and gnarlier than ever. The events creator/builder, Dan Atherton, has not held back, and the track features two new jumps over 100 ft long (30 meters). The Fest Series has been pushing the limits of jump sizes for years, but that is in a session format, not midway down one of the wildest downhill tracks in the world.

I've had a hard time watching highlights from the first day of practice knowing how high the risk is on most features. And it made me wonder if sending racers down a track with such high consequences was irresponsible or just part of pushing the sport.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9kmn-oA2hQ
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mfoga
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9/9/2022 6:35pm
They know what they are signing up for and I feel most everyone knows their limits and will stop of they can't do something. Was there any other carnage besides BK's JRA wheel failure?
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9/9/2022 7:48pm
Absolutely not. Anyone who thinks Hardline or Rampage is too dangerous is an e-bike riding coward.
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JLutzy
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9/9/2022 8:48pm
Dan Atherton is definitely pushing these athletes, these dudes are gnarly, as a spectator though it seems more like a progression session for the athletes with a race thrown on the end. These riders are the best in the world and they’ll no when something is too far.
metadave
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9/9/2022 11:23pm
A cuck would think so?Lil Cucks would defiantly think so.
So you're saying you're in agreement with the OP.
9/10/2022 1:48am
I think maybe the location of hardline could be its limiting factor. It’s not like the fest in SA where conditions are more readable . If you get normal Welsh weather that weekend then things get too sketch.
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NH TIM
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9/10/2022 4:03am
Ask this years winner if it’s too hard. Ask Loris if VDS was too hard.
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9/10/2022 4:51am
Totally agree with Jason. But ultimately I’d want to know what the riders think. Most of what I’ve seen they seem to be stoked. And unlike Rampage where certain dudes feel like they have to ride no matter what to get paid as a freerider, it seems more easy for the DH racers to say ‘no’ if they thought it was too much. It sure looks like it is, but also hard to fathom how gnarly these riders are.
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9/10/2022 4:54am
By every reasonable standard hardline started too far. But life is short and I don’t think anyone is at hardline who doesn’t understand the consequences and makes the choice to be there. The riders who frequent seem to thrive on the event.
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jeff.brines
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9/10/2022 5:14am Edited Date/Time 9/10/2022 5:33am
Its not a World Cup. It is quiet literally the event to see what "too hard" looks like with "no pressure" (there is always pressure) if you withdraw.

That said, giant jumps that are bike breaking are probably "too far". Once we get to a certain size we sort of have to stop going further. Not because of pure physics or anything, but because the margin for error and consequence gets too big. A tiny gust of wind, suspension oil being to hot/cold/whatever, etc all can result in life changing injury.

Guys on moto routinely jump 100 ft+ but they have a motor to control a lot of what is happening in the air, and the bikes are an order of magnitude more stable. Put another way, they are nowhere near as close to the "line" as non-motorized riders are.
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luisgutrod
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9/10/2022 5:45am
I want barelli
Invited. Tour the gnar, for real.
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cmkneeland
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9/10/2022 5:53am
Every rider at Proving Grounds is laughing at this shit
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just6979
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9/10/2022 5:55am
The riders would speak up if it was just plain stupid. Especially since they know Dan and the crew is paying attention: the jump Bernie crashed on was changed before the next day's first session! They don't want to hurt these guys (metaphorical, and gender inclusive, "guys": hopefully no one is missing that Jess had hit most of it by just day 2!), they just want to push them, and the riders are cool with it because they know the open communication is there to keep it all in check.
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9/10/2022 7:02am
Anyone has any info regarding Goldstone? Is out of the updated rider’s list:

https://instagram.com/stories/redbulluk/2924155676860053813?igshid=YmMy…
mfoga wrote:
Weird 3 hours ago updates start list with no Jackson, 2 hours ago Jackson bouncing on bike dropping in from start gate?🤷
Exactly my thought.
bizutch
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9/10/2022 8:00am
Schroeder, so here is the thing with HardLine. The guys at it...the format appeals to them. Bruni, Vergier, Gwi & several other World Cuppers...they are 100% DH racers in style, form and mentality.
The format isn't as much of a life/death risk to the crew at this event. They have the mentality that suits the features of this track. You & I are viewing it through a different perspective.
The guys at this event are the risk takers of the sport whether this event existed or not. They'd be out someplace else hunting this same rush if they weren't at HardLine
Eoin
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9/10/2022 8:01am
Note that the few people not agreeing with the original comment seem to only communicate through psychotic insults... I'd like to see vital take more of a Hardline with the banhammer if we can't have a simple discussion.
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sspomer
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9/10/2022 8:08am
rough. for those who don't click the insta link, brannigan got blown by the wind on the on-off and crashed, breaking collarbone.

@eoin, just because someone can't spell doesn't mean they should be banned : ) most of the replies are legit discussion.
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9/10/2022 9:48am
luisgutrod wrote:
I want barelli
Invited. Tour the gnar, for real.
He was there in 2017, sessioned some of the features but eventually decided not to try a full run.
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9/10/2022 10:13am
Absolutely not. Anyone who thinks Hardline or Rampage is too dangerous is an e-bike riding coward.
Lol. As part of the ebike crowd. I found this hilarious.
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9/10/2022 10:50am
In the pb comments it says that Andy Kolb withdrew. He's also not in the qualifying list. In the last sm videos he said he wasn't sure if he was ready for that.
Very impressive is Jackson Goldstones 3rd place qualifying run. What can't this kid do?
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Whattheheel
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9/10/2022 11:28am
Jess Blewitt out with a broken collarbone. Gutted for her as she was doing awesome out there on the course.
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vweb
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Lyon FR
9/10/2022 1:38pm
Since when this forum feels like Twitter ?
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9/10/2022 1:38pm
JLutzy wrote:
Dan Atherton is definitely pushing these athletes, these dudes are gnarly, as a spectator though it seems more like a progression session for the athletes with...
Dan Atherton is definitely pushing these athletes, these dudes are gnarly, as a spectator though it seems more like a progression session for the athletes with a race thrown on the end. These riders are the best in the world and they’ll no when something is too far.
Bah... go and watch the first edition, 2014, the only time Danny Hart participated (and won). That track was gnarly. What we're watching now is so far removed from "the gnar" and Dan Atherton's shovel. This track is all about truckloads of catalogue-grade gravel and whiteboard engineering. Who's pushing these athletes... mammon and bigger pay check than they'll ever see on the WC circuit.
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Fantaman
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9/10/2022 2:24pm
cmkneeland wrote:
Every rider at Proving Grounds is laughing at this shit
8 out of 10 riders at Proving Grounds would not even make it down the Hardline course.
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9/10/2022 2:41pm
@shredder_schroeder

I've also been a bit dubious about this whole thing over the last few days. For me, it's hard to let go of DH racing once the season ends, and I get sucked into this event with way too much expectation. I've seen every edition of hardline (replays, then broadcast since 2018), but this year something in the back of the brain just doesn't agree with all the hype. So I looked up the race reports and put the data into a spreadsheet... nerdy yes, but no risk of a broken collarbone.

My conclusion is that it's not progressing the sport.

Including tomorrow's race (if everyone starts), there have only been 57 (!) participants in 8 editions. I didn't add nationalities to my chart but at first glance over 85% of these riders are GB/NZ/AU/CA... union jackked.

There have been five winners in 8 years. All of them from Great Britain.

The world's best racers do not come to this event:
Presuming everyone who rode qualifying today (including the DNSs and DNFs), and not counting tomorrow's four first-timers: 36% of Red Bull Hardline participants (20 out of 56 participants) in the now 8 editions of this "race" have NOT returned for a second time. This includes 3 world champions (Danny Hart, Loic Bruni, Reece Wilson) and 2 WC race winners (Mick Hannah and Brook MacDonald) . The only two riders have won a WC and participated at this event more than once are Gee Atherton (2x world champ) and Laurie Greenland.

The median number of participations per rider is 2 (out of eight). If we look at how many people are continuously trying to qualify week-in/week-out for an elite men's WC, this is totally out of touch with reality. Not-entering 75% of the total possible events isn't a realistic outcome for professional athletes. So, this is an event that favours daredevils, not racers.

Methinks this hardline business has been blown out of proportion. Marketing and publicity will get us all to believe that black is white and less is more.

Finally, everyone can say, "well, don't watch." Fair. But I do watch, because that's exactly what the organisers and athletes want need me to do, plus I'm interested in the content. If I (we) don't watch, they wouldn't be there. That's a fact.

But I'm at the point now where I'm going to stop watching this stuff. Happy for Jess Blewitt that she got to have fun and break her collarbone. More power to her. Happy they've bulldozed the line down a once insane, steep, remote hilltop in a land I've never been to. More power to 'em. But I don't resonate with it... I don't want to see anyone get hurt doing something they love, I don't want to see girls do shit that men with twice their body mass and bone density can't even handle. I don't ride flow trails, and I sure as shit don't contemplate 100 foot jumps. Best of luck to Red Bull, but they're not progressing me deeper into the sport.

Middle-aged man, who actually spends a boat-load of money on bikes, components, subscriptions, travel, and taxes... over and out.

Afterthought: I want my kids to watch WC DH and I encourage them to become world champions. That entails a lot of "boring, adult" stuff which is categorically denied or ignored at Hardline... starting and finishing the qualifying fun, for example...
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