Vote for your favourite winning run from the Red Bull Hardline
© Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool
Rewatch the winning runs from the world’s toughest downhill race before casting your vote to decide who should be crowned the all-time Red Bull Hardline fan favourite.
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.
Running since 2014, the event sees its competitors converge on a steep hillside in Wales, UK, for a somewhat terrifying week 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.
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The course comprises massive drops, savage tech, freestyle ramps, 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.
Dan Atherton Hardline course introduction
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.
In other words, whoever wins the Hardline is a special rider indeed. International stars of the mountain biking scene such as Loïc Bruni, Mick Hannah and Brage Vestavik have had their mettle tested on the truly daunting Dan Atherton-designed course, but to date it’s the race’s UK contingent – Danny Hart, Ruaridh Cunningham, Bernard Kerr, Craig Evans and Gee Atherton – who have managed to hold everything together on the hill and come away victorious.
But whose winning run was the most impressive? Rewatch the best action from Hardline’s history before casting your vote in our poll below.
2014 | Danny Hart makes history at the first-ever Hardline
Athletes' take on Red Bull Hardline
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.
2015 | Ruaridh Cunningham uses technical wizardry to tame the course
Ruaridh Cunningham's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2015
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.
2016 | Bernard Kerr's versatility shows he might be something of a Hardline expert
Bernard Kerr's winning run, 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.
2017 | Craig Evans pulls it out of the bag in the worst conditions
Craig Evans's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2017
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.
2018 | Gee Atherton finally wins on home turf
Gee Atherton's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 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.
2019 | Bernard Kerr becomes the first double Hardline winner
Bernard Kerr's winning run, Red Bull Hardline 2019
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.
Settled on your favourite winning run from the world's hardest downhill race? Cast your vote below to help decide who should be crowned the all-time Red Bull Hardline fan favourite.