Bernard Kerr Red Bull Hardline 2019
© Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool
MTB

Red Bull Hardline: the best winning runs in the downhill event's history

Rewatch the winning runs from the world’s toughest downhill moutain bike race ahead of the return of the Red Bull Hardline.
By James McKnight
8 min readUpdated on
Red Bull Hardline brings the world’s fastest racers and bravest freeriders together, as they pit themselves not only against each other but also the toughest downhill race track in the world.
The event sees its competitors converge every year in the Dyfi valley in Wales, UK, and now in the Derwent Valley of Maydena in Tasmania, for a somewhat terrifying week of getting to grips with the track, ahead of the downhill race on the Sunday. Every year the track evolves, conditions change, and lines need to be learnt and relearnt before the weekend race.
Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch unmissable action on all your devices! Get the app here.
The courses in Wales and Tasmania have enormous hip jumps, two-storey-high road gaps and more rocks, roots and holes than you can shake a stick at. Every Hardline has a winner, but occasionally it’s the track that really comes out on top.
To conquer Hardline – that is, to make it down the hill in one piece (the goal of most of its racers) – takes the utmost skill, athleticism, courage and precision. It also asks a lot of the bikes, requiring exceptional components and set-up to cope with the barrage of big hits, off-cambers, turns and changing gradients.
Whoever wins the Hardline is a special rider indeed. To date it’s the race’s UK contingent – Danny Hart, Ruaridh Cunningham, Bernard Kerr, Craig Evans and Gee Atherton - have come out on top on the Welsh course. Only two riders not from the UK, Canada's Jackson Goldstone and Ireland's Ronan Dunne, have managed to hold everything together at a Hardline event and come away victorious. The first ever Red Bull Hardline Australia saw an Irish victor in Ronan Dunne.
But whose winning run was the most impressive? Rewatch the best action from Hardline’s history
01

2014 | Danny Hart makes history at the first-ever Hardline

7 min

Athletes' take on Red Bull Hardline

All the action from Dan Atherton's incredible take on a DH race track.

The first-ever Hardline was an eye-opener for its riders. With a wild Welsh mountain to tame, a select group worked their way down the course, ticking off one monstrous feature at a time. While this pilot race was smaller in terms of participants and spectators than subsequent events, it still had its fair share of superstars. World Cup downhiller Danny Hart pieced together a near-perfect run to become the inaugural Hardline champion.
02

2015 | Ruaridh Cunningham uses technical wizardry to tame the course

4 min

Ruaridh Cunningham's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2015

Watch Red Bull Hardline 2015 winner Ruaridh Cunningham's POV video from his winning race run.

If there’s one thing Hardline is good at, it’s scaring riders and breaking bikes. The 2015 event was tough on its riders, with several dropping out through injury and Gee Atherton sidelined with a flat tyre. But it was unsurprising to see a technical master come out on top. Scottish rider Ruaridh Cunningham rode meticulously where others fell and took the race win.
03

2016 | Bernard Kerr's versatility shows he might be something of a Hardline expert

4 min

Bernard Kerr's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2016

Watch Bernard Kerr storm to the finish run as takes the lead at Red Bull Hardline 2016.

Cunningham proved that his 2015 win was no fluke by once again linking Hardline’s features into a fast race run, but this time he’d have to settle for second step on the podium. In first, a certain Mr Bernard Kerr took his first Hardline victory on what he later stated as his favourite downhill track – anywhere.
A rider who’s as comfortable in freeride and dirt jump territory as he is in downhill racing, the dynamic nature of the course seemed to play to Kerr's strengths. Right from the off, he was smashing the splits set by Cunningham and finished the course a blistering 2.4 seconds up.
04

2017 | Craig Evans pulls it out of the bag in the worst conditions

3 min

Craig Evans's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2017

Hailed as one of the toughest downhill mountain bike races in the world, the fourth edition of Red Bull Hardline returns to the hills of Mid Wales.

When you're faced with the world’s toughest downhill track, the last thing you want is rain. But this was the year of mud. Up to this point the classic Welsh weather had surprisingly never been too severe, but in 2017 the rain came, and it didn’t relent. Not that it put anyone off. Racing saw some high-profile spills (namely Adam Brayton, who ploughed shoulder-first into a tree), but another technical genius, Craig Evans, pulled it out of the bag to take the most high-profile win of his career.
05

2018 | Gee Atherton finally wins on home turf

4 min

Gee Atherton's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2018

Gee Atherton's winning run from the Red Bull Hardline 2018 finals, September 15th 2018.

With the endless hours of graft the Atherton family have put into the course, and the event as a whole, 2018 was finally the pay-off year. While Dan Atherton had stood on the podium at the first event in 2014, Gee Atherton had suffered mechanicals at several events. This time round, Atherton wasn’t letting anything get in the way of the win. He laid down one of the most impressive Hardline runs ever, taking first place by more than five seconds.
06

2019 | Bernard Kerr becomes the first double Hardline winner

4 min

Bernard Kerr's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2019

Bernard Kerr becomes the first ever two-time winner of Red Bull Hardline with this epic race run.

Hardline gets bigger and badder each year, and it just keeps on attracting more and more of the best mountain bikers globally. This time the likes of mountain bike slopestyle Matt Jones showed up – although even he deemed the course too gnarly to race – and perfect practice conditions meant riders could even session the enormous jumps and technical features, with many backflips, whips and spins pulled.
But Hardline is about racing and, well, being difficult, and so it was that the clouds descended for race day, making the course greasy and even more treacherous. It would take a heroic run to win, and no one was better suited to the task than Bernard Kerr, who became Hardline’s only two-time winner.
07

2021 | Bernard Kerr cements his status as king of Hardline

4 min

Bernard Kerr's winning run

Check out British rider Bernard Kerr's winning downhill run that sealed his third Red Bull Hardline victory.

English

In its regular late September date, Red Bull Hardline is traditionally a wet and wild affair, but the reshuffled 2021 UCI World Cup schedule saw it moved to July to avoid any clashes. Could it be the year weather wouldn't play a role in proceedings? Not quite. Despite a heatwave turning the course into a dust bowl, strong winds meant qualifying was cancelled, making finals day the only time riders could put together an all-out race run.
With Gee Atherton out injured, Bernard Kerr entered the week as the strong favourite and he would be the final rider to come down the hill. Kerr knew he would have to put in a course-record time to make it a hat-trick of wins. From the first split, it never looked in doubt. He was in the green the whole way down the course, eventually finishing more than a second ahead of second-placed Laurie Greenland.
08

2022 | Jackson Goldstone defies expectations on his debut

4 min

Jackson Goldstone's winning run

Jackson Goldstone conquers the toughest course in downhill mountain biking to take the win at Red Bull Hardline 2022.

English

Historically, Hardline had only been won by Brits. The thinking? Riders will have cut their teeth on soil and loam similar to those found in Wales, and the course is a different proposition from what most international riders on the World Cup circuit are used to. Canadian Jackson Goldstone clearly didn't get the memo, though.
The 18-year-old from Squamish, British Columbia, was attending his first Red Bull Hardline after claiming the 2022 Junior World Cup overall series. Quick to get to grips with the course, he was soon keeping pace with some of the most experienced riders, and put down a near-faultless run come finals day to put himself in the hot seat with two riders to go.
Both Adam Brayton and three-time winner Bernard Kerr couldn't keep off the deck, handing the debutant a win at the first time of asking. Goldstone not only became the first non-Brit to win the event, but also the youngest winner in its history.
09

2024 | Ronan Dunne tames the Red Bull Hardline Australia course on its debut

12 min

Top 3 runs – Australia

Check out the top three runs from the inaugural Red Bull Hardline Australia in Maydena.

English

It was an all-new track and new country for Red Bull Hardline as the race expanded to Australia, specifically Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania. The mountainside in Maydena was turned into a course true to the Red Bull Hardline ethos, with Aussie trail builders guided by Dan Atherton.
The Australian edition took place in February before the start of the UCI World Cup season, so a healthy contingent of fast men from the world downhill scene travelled to take on the new course. One of those World Cup regulars, Irishman Rónán Dunne, came out on top.
Dunne arrived at Maydena at the beginning of Hardline week without his new Mondraker bike. As a result, he missed out on a few training sessions on the course with the bike. However, when it finally arrived, everything clicked, especially on finals day, when he smoked the competition, winning the race by just under two seconds from Bernard Kerr.
10

2024 | Rónán Dunne adds the Welsh crown to his Red Bull Hardline haul

4 min

Ronan Dunne's winning run – Wales

Ronan Dunne conquers the tough DH mountain biking course to take the men's title at Red Bull Hardline 2024.

English

Rónán Dunne made it a 2024 Red Bull Hardline double as he followed up his victory at the inaugural Australian event with a resounding win in Wales in June.
Having qualified fastest and being the last man down a significantly altered Dyfi course, Dunne posted green splits at every time check down the hill. By the time he crossed the finish arch, the Irishman had bettered the previous leading time of British rider Bernard Kerr by over a second, securing a fantastic win on a day filled with high drama.

Part of this story

Red Bull Hardline

Red Bull Hardline, the world’s toughest mountain bike race, adds a new event in Tasmania, Australia, as well as reaching its 10-year milestone in the Dyfi Valley, Wales.

7 Tour Stops

Red Bull Hardline

The world’s toughest and most progressive downhill mountain bike race returned to Wales, marking its 10th anniversary in the iconic Dyfi Valley.

Großbritannien

Red Bull Hardline

The world’s toughest downhill MTB race is dropping into Australia for the first time!

Australia

Gee Atherton

A multiple world champion, World Cup winner and Red Bull Rampage podium finisher, Gee Atherton is one of the greatest MTB riders of his generation.

United KingdomUnited Kingdom

Jackson Goldstone

From a pre-school viral video sensation to junior downhill world champion, Jackson Goldstone is the future of Canadian mountain biking.

CanadaCanada