The worst-kept secret in mountain biking has been confirmed - the Atherton siblings are on GT bikes for 2012. They'll be joined by fellow Briton and current GT rider Marc Beaumont on the new GT Factory Racing squad.
While Gee and Rachel will continue to race downhill - with a bike swap from the alloy Commencal DH V3 to the carbon fibre GT Fury - Dan will make the switch to the burgeoning discipline of gravity enduro following a tough 2011 after breaking his neck in 2010. He is expected to ride the 150mm travel Sanction and Force. Marc will race both disciplines.
"The new relationship that's formed between Atherton Racing and GT has opened up so many opportunities for everyone involved," said Gee. "I'm stoked to be going into the next few years of racing being bolstered by a company with such a passion for the sport, and whose drive for the top step of the podium matches my own."
"Atherton Racing is one of the most progressive teams in the history of mountain biking and is known for taking the sport to the next level," said Mark Peterman, GT's global general manager. "We're excited about the partnership because it both continues GT's legacy as the brand that helps progressive riders push their limits and because of the opportunities it presents to develop new products."
GT says the team will "provide important product testing feedback" and will work hand in hand with them on "future product advancements and the next evolution of GT mountain bikes".
As well as changing bikes, the Athertons will sport new clothing from motocross brand One Industries, replacing longterm sponsors Animal.
Over the past five years, Atherton Racing has collected over 50 professional victories and multiple World titles. Beaumont's joining the siblings marks the first time the Atherton team will include a non-family member.
Check out Beaumont's 2011 GT Fury in the video below: