British brother and sister combination of Gee and Rachel Atherton dominated the Australian leg of the UCI World Cup Series, claiming downhill victories at the Smithfield Regional Park in Cairns on Saturday.
The win was the fourth time that reigning world champion Rachel and elder brother Gee (both GT Factory Racing) have reached the top step of the podium at the same World Cup event.
"She is a dominant force at the moment and keeping up with her is a hard thing to do," said Gee, the 2008 world champion who finished second overall in the 2013 series
After a wet qualifying session held on Friday, roots and rocks began to protrude from the peanut butter like course, undoing many top players including reigning world champion Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate).
In the women's race, Rachel conquered the course and the field to collect a mammoth victory in four minutes 50.576 seconds, more than eleven seconds to her closest rival, Great Britain's Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team).
"That was probably the hardest race I've ever done," said Rachel. "It's a hard track to race because you have to go slow even though you know you can't push it like you do normally but you have to hold back and just be really careful which feels weird.
"The people and the crowd up there are amazing, on the tricky bits they really get behind you to make you stay on."
Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) rounded out the podium with a time of five minutes, 16.422 seconds, 25 seconds off the pace.
A great ride by France's Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) saw her reach the podium despite a spectacular crash after wedging her wheel between two rocks.
Cairns native Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) set the crowd alight early, stopping the clock in five minutes 20.157 seconds, to round out the podium
Atherton and Carpenter are locked on 450 points a piece in the individual UCI World Cup standings, ahead of Nicole (297 points).
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rachel Atherton (GBr) Gt Factory Racing||0:04:50.600|
|2||Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team||0:00:11.655|
|3||Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction||0:00:25.846|
|4||Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic||0:00:28.264|
|5||Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson Ur||0:00:29.581|
|6||Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour||0:00:32.181|
|7||Fionn Griffiths (GBr)||0:00:36.165|
|8||Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) Fmd Racing||0:00:39.261|
|9||Micayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory Dh Team||0:00:47.199|
|10||Claire Buchar (Can)||0:00:58.294|
|11||Sarah Atkin (NZl)||0:01:00.068|
|12||Jill Kintner (USA)||0:01:10.138|
|13||Harriet Latchem (GBr)||0:01:19.885|
|14||Danielle Beecroft (Aus) Green To Gold Race Development||0:01:20.901|
|15||Veronique Sandler (NZl)||0:01:31.484|
|16||Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team||0:01:31.706|
|17||Gabriela Williams (Cze)||0:02:27.530|
|18||Tegan ° Molloy (Aus)||0:02:29.115|
|19||Sarah Booth (Aus)||0:02:31.989|
|20||Ellie ° Wale (Aus)||0:02:57.544|
|21||Michelle Crisp (Aus)||0:03:28.063|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing||450||pts|
|2||Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team||450|
|3||Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction||297|
|4||Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic||295|
|5||Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR||239|
|6||Jill Kintner (USA)||222|
|7||Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour||206|
|8||Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) Fmd Racing||164|
|9||Fionn Griffiths (GBr)||145|
|10||Micayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory DH Team||115|
|11||Danielle Beecroft (Aus) Green To Gold Race Development||85|
|12||Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Gstaad-Scott||70|
|13||Claire Buchar (Can)||55|
|14||Sarah Atkin (NZl)||50|
|15||Tegan ° Molloy (Aus)||45|
|16||Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team||41|
|17||Diana Marggraff (Ecu)||40|
|18||Harriet Latchem (GBr)||40|
|19||Steffi Marth (Ger)||35|
|20||Veronique Sandler (NZl)||30|
|21||Gabriela Williams (Cze)||20|
|22||Sarah Booth (Aus)||10|
|23||Ellie Wale° (Aus)||5|