It's fair to say Ronan won't be forgetting this week anytime soon.
© Dan Griffiths
MTB

What happened at Red Bull Hardline 2024?

Red Bull Hardline 2024 was the biggest and best yet...
Written by Dan Griffiths
4 min readPublished on
Red Bull Hardline 2024 was on another level.

Red Bull Hardline 2024 was on another level.

© Dan Griffiths

It's gone above and beyond in how it's progressed the sport and promoted the area. I never would have thought there would be this much progression in the sport.
Dan Atherton
After the wet antics of 2023, we were all praying for a decent Hardline. Last year's devastating cancellation highlighted just how unpredictable and wild the sport can be, particularly when it's at a level as intense as Red Bull Hardline. Over the years, the event has unforgivingly showcased what it means to ride on the edge of the sport's capabilities, both positively and negatively.
Sam Gale off the infamous Road Gap.

Sam Gale off the infamous Road Gap.

© Dan Griffiths

The event has demonstrated the absolute precipice of downhill riding in a mind-blowing fashion. It has served as a catalyst for mountain bike progression across the board, from track building to rider ability and bike technology, and it still only feels like the beginning.
Brook MacDonald gets loose in practice.

Brook MacDonald gets loose in practice.

© Dan Griffiths

Pushing the absolute limits in any walk of life always comes with a degree of risk and potential consequence. There's a considerable difference between recklessness and calculated risk, and Hardline has always encapsulated the latter. Jim, Matt and Bernard’s efforts in testing the new course this year are a testament to their bravery and ambition to continue pushing the sport forward.
Jim, Bernard and Matt; the test crew of '24.

Jim, Bernard and Matt; the test crew of '24.

© Dan Griffiths

As the event celebrated its tenth anniversary, expectations were higher than ever as thirty-five of the world's best riders arrived in Wales, ready to conquer mountain biking's gnarliest downhill track. Things began early for the girls—Cami Nogueira, Tahnée Seagrave, Vaea Verbeeck, Hannah Bergemann, and Jenna Hastings—who arrived a couple of days early to familiarise themselves with the course and get some early practice in.
The class of '24.

The class of '24.

© Dan Griffiths

With how last year had gone, the horrendous Welsh weather that graced Monday and Tuesday was a worrying reality, and no riding ensued on Tuesday whatsoever. Fortunately, things began to clear up, and Wednesday's track walk, though still pretty bleak, was passable as far as Wales goes. Reactions were scattered between excitement and nervousness as riders checked out the new sections and were reunited with terrifying features from the past, which never get any smaller.
Josh Lowe eyes up the 90-footers with nervous excitement.

Josh Lowe eyes up the 90-footers with nervous excitement.

© Dan Griffiths

The weather cooperated throughout the week, peaking on Friday and continuing through the weekend. Overall, everybody was in good spirits, and there was something special about this year's event that was hard to pin down. There was much to celebrate, from everybody making it through the week injury-free to seeing the girls hit the road gap for the first time and Ronan Dunne finally getting the Red Bull lid.
It was a long time coming, but Ronan finally claimed his Red Bull lid.

It was a long time coming, but Ronan finally claimed his Red Bull lid.

© Dan Griffiths

On Friday morning, The Flying Bulls treated the riders to a lap of the Mach Loop onboard their one-of-a-kind Douglas DC-6B, and though the excitement of the flight was difficult to top, that didn't stop Friday's evening session from going down a dream as the sun set, making for some of the best moments of the weekend.
Big stoke for flight day.

Big stoke for flight day.

© Dan Griffiths

Chatting with the riders, it was apparent the good vibes were contagious, and everybody was buzzing off the event.
You can see how much Red Bull Hardline means to the fans.

You can see how much Red Bull Hardline means to the fans.

© Dan Griffiths

Tahnee Seagrave sends the road gap.

Tahnee Seagrave sends the road gap.

© Dan Griffiths

Riders keep coming to me with ideas for where they think we should have a Hardline. They're so engaged. They're not just like, 'Red Bull is paying me to be here; I'll do it.' They're genuinely stoked on the event.
Dan Atherton
Soon enough, the seeding day rolled around, and Ronan proved that his win in Tasmania earlier in the year was no fluke by taking the fastest time of the day despite suffering a mechanical on his bike right before dropping in, resulting in a panicked and hurried mend job right before his run. Closely trailing him in second was three-time Hardline champ Bernard Kerr, with a lesser-known name on the scene but by no means less capable, Colombia's Juanfer Vélez, behind in third.
Ronan went fastest in seeding despite a mechanical mend before his run.

Ronan went fastest in seeding despite a mechanical mend before his run.

© Dan Griffiths

Finals day kicked off with the usual riders' briefing, followed by a few hours of practice under the sun as spectators flocked in. The racing was some of the best we've seen, and it felt like déjà vu as Ronan Dunne secured his second Hardline win of 2024, reaffirming his fastest qualifying time. Dunne outpaced Bernard Kerr by a margin of 1.282 seconds, maintaining the lead at every split. Meanwhile, Juanfer Velez matched his qualifying position to clinch third place, rounding off an unforgettable weekend.
What a way to finish one of the best weeks of his life.

What a way to finish one of the best weeks of his life.

© Dan Griffiths

"Red Bull Hardline represents proper racing to me. It's so wild, a proper downhill track, and to buzz with all the riders is so much fun; I love it. It's been a dream week, and if somebody told me the outcome a year ago, five years ago, or even a couple of months ago, I would never have believed them; it's been an incredible week from getting a Red Bull Helmet at the start of the week to winning seeding, then winning finals, it's been unreal!"- Ronan Dunne
It's fair to say Ronan won't be forgetting this week anytime soon.

It's fair to say Ronan won't be forgetting this week anytime soon.

© Dan Griffiths

This year's event may not have started as we hoped, but it didn't hold back. Many are calling last week's event the best year yet, confirming that Hardline is on the right trajectory. From a private downhill track on a remote Welsh mountainside to the most iconic mountain bike race on the planet, nobody, including Dan, anticipated Hardline would grow into what it is today.
Your 2024 Red Bull Hardline podium.

Your 2024 Red Bull Hardline podium.

© Dan Griffiths

As we celebrate the event's tenth anniversary, the reception from its riders and fans speaks for itself, and there's no doubt that Hardline is here to stay.
Till next year!

Till next year!

© Dan Griffiths

Part of this story

Red Bull Hardline

The world’s toughest and most progressive downhill mountain bike race, Red Bull Hardline returns to Wales on the 2nd June 2024, marking its 10th anniversary in the iconic Dyfi Valley.

GroßbritannienDinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth, Großbritannien
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