For a long time, Rachel and Gee Atherton were some of the best riders on the World Cup circuit. Rachel dominated the elite women’s field and Gee was always a contender for the podium. But in recent years, Gee was constantly dealing with injury, and last year Rachel had a bad crash at Fort William, which affected her performances for the rest of the year. But last weekend at the last World Cup of the season, in a downpour, they proved they still belong on top.
Rachel had been having an on-again, off-again year, fighting closely with Tahnee Seagrave at every race, but ultimately ended up winning four races during the season, inching out Seagrave in overall points. That fourth win came last weekend in La Bresse, France, the shortest but one of the hardest tracks of the year. Rachel just needed a fourth-place finish to secure her overall title, but racing conservatively isn’t Rachel’s style. So instead she put it all on the line to attack the entire way down, and it paid off when she beat Seagrave by 0.6 seconds.
Gee had been struggling to make the top 20 all year, but he stormed the track at La Bresse and qualified first. And he didn’t slow down for finals. Only Martin Maes was able to beat Gee, coming in 1.3 seconds faster.