Ragot wins gold downhill world championship medal for France

Atherton earns second ahead of Buchar

Emmeline Ragot earned France another medal at the world championships in Champery, Switzerland, on Sunday afternoon when she won the elite women's downhill race. Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) rode to a silver medal while Claire Buchar (Canada) took bronze.

"I knew this course well as I won it here last year," said Ragot. "I was pushing hard, and the circumstances helped me to clinch this title. I was going for it."

The women raced in steady, soaking rain, which made an already technical course even more slippery.

Casey Brown (Canada) was the first rider to almost crack six minutes as she clocked in at 6:00.217.

A few riders later, her teammate Buchar would fly down the mountain to set a new best time of 5:21.965.

"I didn't race any World Cups this year, and so I was thrown into the deep end. I came over here with big motivation," said Buchar, who dedicated her win to a teammate, Nick Geddis, who is currently battling leukemia. "It was an achievement to come over here and win a bronze after not racing over here all year." Buchar had sat out the World Cup season due to a lack of sufficient sponsorship to fund the expense of a European campaign.

Neither of the two four cross medallists in the race - Celine Gros (France) nor Fionn Griffiths (Great Britain) - could beat Buchar's time although Miriam Ruchti (Switzerland) and Mio Suemasa (Japan) came close, each moving into second position at the time they finished.

It was the sixth to last rider, Ragot, who would set the fastest time, with a 4:54.012. She was the only woman to go under five minutes.

"Today I tried to ride smart, and I knew that if I didn't crash, I would have the possibility of winning," said Ragot. "I did not crash. I tried to ride smooth and I didn't put attacks on my bike. I was a bit slow down some parts but it worked out." It was a good way for her to end a season which had begun with a knee injury.

Another favorite, Sabrina Jonnier (France) would not have the best run although she did finish fifth with a 5:24.329. Still another Frenchwoman Myriam Nicole, was next, earning herself a fourth at 5:22.306.

Ragot's time was holding up with three racers remaining in the line-up.

Next up was Atherton, who set a new second best time of 5:09.303, with a solid looking run.

"I came into this race expecting or at least hoping to get a podium," said Atherton. "The conditions today were savage, and it completely changed the whole race. Without a crash, who knows what would have happened, but I'm happy with second place." Atherton is still working her way back to full form after injury kept her out of competition last year and earlier this year.

Pugin did not start, so that left only defending champion Tracy Moseley (Great Britain). She went down a few times during her run, including getting caught in the netting during one of the incidents. She finished ninth at 5:38.163.

"I had four crashes," said Moseley. "What happened was they built a crazy track and then it rained. It was a sad way to lose my jersey, but you have to win to keep it."

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmeline Ragot (France)0:04:54.012 
2Rachel Atherton (Great Britain)0:00:15.291 
3Claire Buchar (Canada)0:00:27.953 
4Myriam Nicole (France)0:00:28.294 
5Sabrina Jonnier (France)0:00:30.317 
6Mio Suemasa (Japan)0:00:37.723 
7Petra Bernhard (Austria)0:00:38.370 
8Emilie Siegenthaler (Switzerland)0:00:43.941 
9Tracy Moseley (Great Britain)0:00:44.151 
10Miriam Ruchti (Switzerland)0:00:49.112 
11Harriet Rucknagel (Germany)0:01:04.222 
12Casey Brown (Canada)0:01:06.205 
13Miranda Miller (Canada)0:01:09.717 
14Jacqueline Harmony (United States Of America)0:01:25.422 
15Katherine Short (Canada)0:01:35.570 
16Elke Rabeder (Austria)0:01:39.968 
17Fionn Griffiths (Great Britain)0:01:48.874 
18Sandra Rubesam (Germany)0:01:52.436 
19Amy Laird (New Zealand)0:04:17.802 
20Céline Gros (France)0:15:56.235 
DNSFloriane Pugin (France)  
DNSAnita Ager-Wick (Norway)  
DNSJoanna Petterson (United States Of America)  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1France53 pts
2Great Britain35 
3Canada35 
4Switzerland24 
5Austria19 
6Japan15 
7Germany13 
8United States Of America7 
9New Zealand2 

 

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