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I didn’t mean to be nasty to Gee, it isn’t me that sets the questions anyhow……..that’s up to you that are reading this right now. Mind you, why would we want to talk about how fast the rest of the family are or what his mum feeds them anyway.

2004 is a big year, stepping up to play with the big boys on a level playing field, no longer the young whipper snapper who got to gatecrash the elite party. So far so good, at the Ae Forest NPS he came the closest of anyone to beating Steve Peat, who knows whether he will by the end of the year, just don’t expect to see him north of the border much, he is too much of a pansy for that.

DW: Tell us something we don't know about Gee Atherton to start us off.

Gee: I'm shit scared of spiders!

DW: You are back on Muddyfox again in 2004, is being on the same team as the rest of the family important to you?

Gee: Definitely, its hard travelling and racing all around the world, you need to be with people that you're comfortable with.

Cool, Calm and Calculated - before the biggest move Fort Bill 4X ever seen!

DW: A pretty good start to 2004 already with last weekend's Maxxis Cup, what are your goals for the rest of the season?

Gee: It's hard to say so early in the season, but, top 3 in Maxxis Cup, maybe podium at World Cups.

DW: What's on your schedule this year? World Cup, NPS...what about some NORBA's or even Scottish races?!

Gee: World Cups, Maxxis Cups, NPS. No NORBA's this year and Scotland's too cold!!

4X Fort William

DW: How much would it take for you to break free from your current team and go with a bigger setup, we all guessed you would have some tasty offers on the table for 2004.

Gee: Yeah the offers were there, but money wasn't the main factor this year. I wanted to stay with quite a personal deal, so I could concentrate on my riding with everything the way I wanted it.

DW: What about the bike, has that been developed further for 2004?

Gee: Yeah the guys at Muddyfox have come up with a slightly different design, based on what worked last year. It's basically the same bike but slightly different angles.

DW: How does it feel to be competing against the Worlds best on what the public perceive as a substandard frame, do you even ride a production frame or is it customised in any way?

Gee: No you could buy the same frame that I raced all last year, in your local bike shop. I wasn't held back by the bike at all, and I rode the same frame for all the race season, for all the free riding I did in Canada, for the Redbull Rampage in Utah, the Snow King races, and all the riding I did over the winter!

DW: Ever met the Muddy Fox birds before? Have they had a shot on your bike, if so did you bother washing the seat afterwards?

Gee: Er yeah

DW: The Atherton family, nature or nurture

Gee: Nature

DW: Now that you are playing with the big boys, have you changed training schedule at all or do you just get out and ride?

Gee: No I haven't changed anything, still just riding what I feel like, when I feel like. I think that works best for me at the moment, makes me a better rider. I don't think a strict training schedule would work for me, but that doesn't mean I don't train hard.

DW: Someone told me that you had been voted as the industries most sponsorable rider, is that true? If so, what makes you so appealing to the industry/opposite sex/same sex?

Gee: Yeah that's true. I don't know, I try not to get too stressed about promoting my sponsors, that's not why I race. I guess they like a rider who can mix between disciplines and show up at different events. Like Cedric riding World Cups all year then winning the Red Bull Rampage, and then the Snow King. How cool is that?

Ae Forest - Up Top

DW: Who would you like to sit next to on a flight to Australia?

Gee: Bullet Tooth Tony.

DW: As a fairly young sport, riders are only now starting to come through who have ridden MTB's from the start rather than coming to the sport from other backgrounds. Do you think this is a benefit to you or would a background in something else help?

Gee: I think it's really important to have a background in something else, in Downhill there is so much variation, you need to be able to cope with everything, and you can only ride like that by riding a lot of other disciplines. It gives the rider more style and flare on the bike.

DW: Will you still be riding pushbikes in 10 years time?!

Gee: Yes

DW: How do you cope without emotions (as a Vulcan living amongst humans)?

Gee: Ah, I get by.......

DW: How were the Snow King races? Pretty unique way to train over the winter!

Gee: It was the fastest I've ever been on a bike before and it was on ice! It was insane. We didn't get to practice the course so we weren't exactly sure of where the gates were, so you just had to tuck up and try not to rip your legs off on your spike tires. I think there could be a big future for this in MTB.

DW: Would you have won in Norway if you didn't miss your flight?

Gee: Yes

DW: Do you actually know how the 24 hour clock works?

Gee: I'm working on it with my coach

DW: You have been doing a lot of building lately, what's next on the course build schedule?

Gee: Yeah me and my brother have been working on a lot of tracks around us, it's good fun just building a track as gnarly as you can make it, then just learning how to ride it, let alone fast. We've been building that 4x track at Moelfre, it looks like its going to work, my brothers a mole!!

DW: I hear you and Dan have been known to partake in a bit of night digging, is this true and if so why the hell do you go out and dig at times everyone else is tucked up in bed?

Gee: Well in the winter we're riding all day, then once the skate parks close there's not much else to do. So it's into my bros pickup and choose a hill. It's fine, vulcans aren't scared of the dark.

DW: I see on the NPS schedules this year that there is the "Atherton Way Riding School", what's all that about?

Gee: Well basically that's just so we get sneaky practice at all the nationals. No, we go to the national on the Friday and walk the track with the riders, talk it through with them and then section the whole track. Just a chance to show a couple of less experienced riders what the deal is at the nationals.

Ae Forest - Down Low

DW: Superfly joined you on your road trip from Vegas to the Red Bull Rampage and killed it according to his report. What embarrassing snip did he miss out that he wouldn't want us to know about?

Gee: Well did he mention him getting spanked, or trying it on with the Mormons. That was a funny trip.

DW: Say something that would make a good ending to this interview (bar the thank you's)

Gee: I hold the fastest lap time around the crazy lanes to my house, in my Clio. We've got everyone's times up on a board in my garage

DW: Anyone you want to thank?

Gee: Thanks to the guys at Muddy, Everyone at Animal, Ollie at Funn, Bob, Martin Whiteley and all the sponsors...

Thanks very much to Gee.

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