Rachel returns to racing after a year off due to injury
The Atherton siblings, Rachel, Gee and Dan, launched their Commencal team for 2010, with its new look, on Wednesday as they prepare for the gravity racing scene to begin.
After having to sit out last season due to a shoulder injury sustained in a training accident, 2008 downhill World Champion Rachel Atherton returns to competition. With her form nearing 100 percent, she expects to be in the mix for the overall World Cup title and in medal contention once again at the World Championships in September.
"I could not be any more excited about the coming season, to be back in the thick of the team, racing, riding and working with the best companies and people out there. Well it's nice to feel so supported at such an important time for me, so thanks guys and thumbs up!" said Rachel.
Despite qualifying fastest at Andorra, Slovenia and Fort William last season, Gee found himself on the other steps of the podium too often come the finals. He finished the season in fourth place overall and is out to better that this year with an ambitious assault on the downhill overall World Cup title. The World Cup will kick off in full force in Maribor, Slovenia, for the first round in May.
"With a long off season nearly coming to an end, I'm super excited about getting involved in the race scene again. All three of us thrive off the competitive side of racing and with the calendar stacked with great courses it will doubtless be an awesome year," said Gee.
Eldest sibling Dan has undertaken a tough winter training schedule, with more emphasis on his speciality, four cross. Working on his weaknesses from 2009, Dan is ready to unleash these improvements on the World Cup series.
With the bond between the family and Commencal growing stronger over time, the siblings have become more involved with their sponsors, allowing greater potential in areas such as product development. The Andorran brand Commencal has projects lined up perfect for the expertise and knowledge that the Athertons have gained from six years on the World Cup scene.
"We're all really looking forward to racing the season as a complete unit again. Rach was sorely missed last year, and I am sure her return will be met with the same success we had in her last full season," said Team Director Dan Brown. "We have worked closer with our sponsors over the winter and the team is running a tight set up that will ensure the riders have little to worry about during race weekend."
The siblings are also sponsored by Animal, Shimano, Fox, Chris King, E-13, Oakley, Park, Finish Line and Continental. Fans may hear the Athertons coming before they see them since car audio company Alpine is also backing the team.
Commencal 2010 Mountain Bike Team