Rachel Atherton wins Cairns downhill World Cup

Carpenter and Nicole take second and third

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).

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) Gt Factory Racing0:04:50.600 
2Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team0:00:11.655 
3Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:25.846 
4Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:00:28.264 
5Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson Ur0:00:29.581 
6Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:32.181 
7Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:00:36.165 
8Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) Fmd Racing0:00:39.261 
9Micayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory Dh Team0:00:47.199 
10Claire Buchar (Can)0:00:58.294 
11Sarah Atkin (NZl)0:01:00.068 
12Jill Kintner (USA)0:01:10.138 
13Harriet Latchem (GBr)0:01:19.885 
14Danielle Beecroft (Aus) Green To Gold Race Development0:01:20.901 
15Veronique Sandler (NZl)0:01:31.484 
16Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team0:01:31.706 
17Gabriela Williams (Cze)0:02:27.530 
18Tegan ° Molloy (Aus)0:02:29.115 
19Sarah Booth (Aus)0:02:31.989 
20Ellie ° Wale (Aus)0:02:57.544 
21Michelle Crisp (Aus)0:03:28.063 
Elite women downhill World Cup standings after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing450 pts
2Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team450 
3Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction297 
4Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic295 
5Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR239 
6Jill Kintner (USA)222 
7Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour206 
8Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) Fmd Racing164 
9Fionn Griffiths (GBr)145 
10Micayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory DH Team115 
11Danielle Beecroft (Aus) Green To Gold Race Development85 
12Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Gstaad-Scott70 
13Claire Buchar (Can)55 
14Sarah Atkin (NZl)50 
15Tegan ° Molloy (Aus)45 
16Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team41 
17Diana Marggraff (Ecu)40 
18Harriet Latchem (GBr)40 
19Steffi Marth (Ger)35 
20Veronique Sandler (NZl)30 
21Gabriela Williams (Cze)20 
22Sarah Booth (Aus)10 
23Ellie Wale° (Aus)5 

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