Rachel Atherton claims her fifth world title and Kade Edwards wins the rainbow stripes in his last Junior race
Racing for Great Britain, Trek Factory Racing DH teammates Rachel Atherton and Kade Edwards dominated their categories to bring home the coveted rainbow stripes in the 2018 Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Sunday.
Lenzerheide is renowned for being tricky: loose with big drops, huge roots, tree stumps, and rock gardens – plenty to keep both riders and crowds entertained.
Both Atherton and Edwards qualified first, allowing them to start last in the finals on Sunday.
The finals day dawned hot. The track was the driest it has been all week and conditions were “pretty much perfect”.
Rachel Atherton was clearly riding at a different level than her competition. Starting last with Tahnee Seagrave – compatriot, neighbor, rival and friend – in the hotseat, Rachel came out flying.
She was three seconds up by split one and six seconds clear by two – Rachel was on fire! By the third check, she had eight and a half seconds in hand and was clearly in a league of her own.
Rachel did not ease up. She attacked all the way to the line and crossed a monstrous 9.98 seconds clear of the field to claim her fifth elite World title.
I’m stoked!! This was the Worlds, so I knew that I had to throw everything at it; I knew it would have to be special. All the way down I thought I was going to crash! Tahnee and PomPom have been pushing me so hard all season, I was watching them all weekend thinking, 'I’m going to have to push on' …I’m buzzing!
Eighteen-year-old Kade Edwards struggled this year with injuries. He has been frustrated with missing the wins he knows he is capable of, but Sunday he saved his best for last. His huge potential was realized in his final Junior race with a World Championship title. Kade won by a margin of 4.4 seconds, leaving no doubt who was best on the day that matters most.
Massive thanks to everybody who has had my back - this season has been tough but today blows everything out of the water!