Rachel Atherton GT Launch

The 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season is fast approaching, and the various teams are gearing up for the races ahead. Last night, the GT Factory Racing Team, of which Rachel Atherton and her brothers Gee and Dan are a part, shared their plans for the season ahead.

The GT Bicycles Factory Racing Team consists of downhill racers Rachel Atherton, Gee Atherton, Marc Beaumont and Taylor Vernon. Dan Atherton and Martin Maes make up the enduro racing side of things.

Last year was full of highs and lows for the team; Dan and Taylor suffered serious injuries from which they are now almost fully recuperated. On the flip side, Martin Maes was crowned Junior Enduro World Champion, and Rachel won not only the World Cup Series title but also became the DH World Champion, the second time she has done this and an amazing achievement.

The team behind the team were also introduced, and you can begin to understand how both the drive and determination of the riders, combined with the huge supporting network of physiotherapists, mechanics, and sports psychologists, has helped cement their reputation as a super-team.

GT Bicycles also introduced the new DH bike for the 2014 season - with a slightly bigger wheel size. Echoing what seems to be a move across the entire bike industry, the new bikes feature 27.5 inch (650b) wheels. Slightly bigger than the traditional 26 inch wheels, they combine a smoother ride feel with maneuverability. We look forward to seeing how they perform.

Atherton racing bike

The first UCI DH World Cup race of the season kicks off on April 10th - 13th in South Africa, and you can watch it live on Red Bull TV.

Want to see Rachel Atherton in action before that? She's racing in the first round of the British Downhill Series this weekend at Antur Stiniog. You'll also be able to watch some of the other top World Cup riders, including Manon Carpenter, Tahnee Seagrave, and Katy Curd.