Rachel maintains her lead in the UCI DH World Cup standings after five rounds
Andorra is widely held to be one of best tracks on the circuit, steep and technical, it’s just like home for the Athertons.
Andorra has many positive associations for the Trek Factory Racing DH team, including the “triple win” when all three Atherton siblings (Gee, Dan, Rachel) triumphed in their respective World Cups, but it’s also a cruel taskmaster – Gee had a massive crash here in the 2015 World Championships after tagging a tree stump.
For the fifth round of the UCI DH World Cup, the Trek Factory Racing DH team came away with a strong second place by Rachel and another third-placed podium for Junior Woman Mille Johnset.
In the Men’s Elite, Gee, who suffered a mechanical out of the gate, and Charlie Hatton, who suffered from a stomach bug the day of the finals, came away empty-handed and frustrated. In the Junior Men, Kade Edwards qualified well – placing third – but crashed in the finals to finish in a disappointing 15th place.
Rachel turned the tide for the team, dominating the Women’s Elite qualifiers by an astonishing 12.7 seconds and looked poised to take her second World Cup victory of the year.
Starting last on the track in the finals, she looked set to repeat her qualifications scorcher. She was in the green at split one, extended it to four seconds clear by split two until disaster struck: Rachel blew off course and lost a lot of time.
Despite the mishap, Rachel still finished second and maintained her overall lead in the World Cup with two rounds to go.
I’m gutted, again! I can’t believe I blew off course, I pushed back up and tried to crack on but came in four seconds down. I’m so gutted but I’m still LOVING riding and I’m stoked with the way that I feel on my bike!