Having suffered a dislocated shoulder during her race run at round 3 of the downhill World Cup series in Leogang, Austria, Rachel Atherton (Commencal) has opted to miss the next two World Cup rounds in favour of strengthening her shoulder ahead for this year's World Championships. She will sit out this weekend's racing in Champery, Switzerland, and next weekend's racing in Val di Sole, Italy.
"Things seem rather clear to me at the moment, I guess that when big things happen, everything drops into a rather more grounded perspective, and so it was with a clear, if somewhat sepia head that I decided it would be in my best interests not to race," said Atherton, writing in her personal blog via the Athertons' website.
Atherton's shoulder has made great progress since her crash in Austria but with the forthcoming World Cups both being held on technical, gnarly tracks, it was too much of a risk for her with a shoulder that is not 100 percent.
The former World Champion was looking forward to returning to the Val di Sole, Italy, venue where she claimed the 2008 world title in spectacular fashion and, "a track where, in every rut and root, lies a little piece of my heart". She will have to wait another year until the World Cup visits Val di Sole again.
Atherton will make her return to racing in August at the Crankworx Festival in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada before racing the World Cup Finals in Windham, New York, and the World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada.