Born: Dec 6, 1987
Hometown: Salisbury, England
Weight: 65 kg
Sponsors: Redbull, Animal Commencal, Nissan
There must be something in Shropshire’s air. In the case of the youngest of the Athertons, Rachel, it surely seems so. At just 21-years-of-age she might just be the most talented of the bunch and over the past few years has become a major player in downhill racing.
Rachel Atherton is a professional downhill mountain bike racer who has won several national championships. She has been a part of the Animal Commencal racing team since 2007. Her brothers Dan and Gee are also on this team.
At the age of 8, Rachel began BMX riding and won her first race. She has been mountain biking since was 11. At the age of 18 in 2005, she was the BBC Midlands Junior Sportswoman of the Year and she was also the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2005. In 2006, she won the senior World Cup in Brazil and ended that year with the number 3 ranking.
In 2008, Rachel again became the Midlands Sportswoman of the Year and she also became the first woman in Britain to win the Elite UCI Downhill World Championship. In an exciting finish, she beat Sabrina Jonnier by 11.99 seconds. She is the fastest woman racer in the world.
2008 was an exciting year for the racer and the nest year was looking promising, but things came to a halt on January 18, 2009 when Rachel collided head on with a pick up truck while road- training in Santa Cruz, California. Her bothers Dan and Gee Atherton were there, but they were not injured.
Rachel suffered several cuts and bruises, and she severely injured her shoulder. Her shoulder was dislocated, and she had to have surgery which kept her out of the racing season for the entire 2009 season.
She was not able to compete in the World Championships in September of that year, had to have many surgeries on her shoulder, and was very anxious to get back to racing which she did in style in 2010.
Rachel Atherton is back on top and is one of the most successful women downhill races in the world and it appears she will continue to be for a long time to come.
Her current standing in UCI World Cop is 3rd place with 1115 points – Just 350 points from leading Tracy Moseley sponsored by Trek team.