Wales

Mountain biking world champion family open Snowdonia tracks

Dyfi Bike Park Image copyright Dyfi Bike Park
Image caption The family hope the tracks will help train the next generation of mountain biking champions

A world championship-winning mountain biking family hope their practise track will draw more thrillseekers to Snowdonia.

The area already has attractions such as high-speed zip wires, surfing and underground trampolines.

Now Rachel, 31, Dan, 37 and Gee Atherton, 34, who have won eight world titles and 49 world cups between them, hope to add to the offering.

They spent a £2m bank loan buying their practise track.

Dan and Rachel have been based at the Dyfi Bike Park near Machynlleth, Powys, for five years and Dan has been helping to create four tracks there.

They are on land falling from the 666m (2,185 ft) Tarren y Gesail mountain to sea level.

"I had always dreamed of finding a forest with this much potential," he said.

"We have an amazing blank canvas here with 650 acres of forest."

Image copyright Dyfi Bike Park
Image caption The park has been created by Dan Atherton, where he practises with his sister

Rachel, 31, is the most decorated with five downhill world championships and six world cup victories.

Born in Salisbury, they hope the tracks will meet an ever-growing demand for weekend adventure enthusiasts and train the next generation of British mountain bikers.

Snowdonia is already a magnet for thrillseekers.

At the old Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, Zip World claims to have the fastest zip line in the world.

There is also the artificial Surf Snowdonia lake at Dolgarrog and underground trampolines in an old slate mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

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