Atherton flies to victory in Val di Sole

Ragot holds World Cup lead

After missing much of the past two seasons as she recovers from a shoulder injury, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) served notice that she is back with a vengeance, by dominating round two of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Val di Sole is known for its highly technical, rough and dusty track, and this year was no different, with new sections of the course buried under soft, loamy dirt that was nearly 30 centimetres deep in places. Crashes abounded, with former junior world champion Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) unable to start after injuring her shoulder earlier in the week during training.

Sabrina Jonnier (Labyrinth Shimano) was the first woman to spend an extended time in the hot seat, but she was then bumped out of contention by a pair of Austrian riders - Anita Molcik (Four Elements) and Petra Bernhard (Alpine Commencal Austria) - before a trio of French riders took the top spot in quick succession, with Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) the first to break the four minute barrier.

However, Nicole's reign at the top is was brief, with Atherton the next rider on course. Atherton, the world champion here in Val di Sole in 2008, was noticeably faster than than any other woman, finishing 4.485 seconds ahead of Nicole. The only rider remaining was the world champion Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker), who had qualified first, but she was no match for Atherton, finishing over eight seconds back in third.

"I still can't quite believe it," said Atherton. "The track here is so insane, it's so long and physical and wild. I knew that if I was going to win it I had to put everything on the line. I had a pretty good run and nearly crashed a few times, but you've just got to risk it, and I wanted to win."

Ragot takes the World Cup lead, since Atherton did not compete in the first round, with 370 points, followed by round one winner Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) at 322, Nicole at 261 points and Atherton with 240.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:03:49.436 
2Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:04.485 
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:08.083 
4Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott110:00:15.446 
5Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:20.301 
6Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:00:23.207 
7Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:23.884 
8Anita Molcik (Aut)0:00:24.333 
9Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:32.308 
10Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:33.232 
11Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:00:34.984 
12Miranda Miller (Can)0:00:36.808 
13Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International0:00:38.500 
14Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:38.970 
15Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:39.256 
16Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)0:00:39.794 
17Carina Cappellari (Swi)0:00:40.893 
18Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:44.225 
19Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:45.108 
20Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense0:00:58.815 
DNSManon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing102 pts
2Lapierre International71 
3MS Mondraker Team65 
4Trek World Racing54 
6Santa Cruz Syndicate52 
7Devinci Global Racing49 
8Commencal / Riding Addiction35 
9Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team34 
10Giant Factory Off-Road Team26 
11Monster Energy-Specialized24 
12Passion Velo.Fr22 
13Alpine Commencal Austria18 
15Hutchinson United Ride14 
16Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13 
17Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12 
18CK Racing Santacruz11 
19Torpado Surfing Shop10 
20Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team10 
21Team Norco International8 
22Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing6 
23Unior Tools Team3 
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace3 
World Cup individual standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team370 pts
2Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride322 
3Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction261 
4Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing240 
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott11220 
6Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International185 
7Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11180 
8Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team165 
9Anita Molcik (Aut)160 
10Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria154 
11Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense127 
12Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr126 
13Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84 
14Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team80 
15Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)65 
16Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop55 
17Mio Suemasa (Jpn)50 
18Miranda Miller (Can)45 
19Fionn Griffiths (GBr)45 
20Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace40 
21Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie35 
22Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35 
23Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie30 
24Gabriela Williams (Cze) Cg Racing Brigade25 
25Carina Cappellari (Swi)20 
26Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)20 
27Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team15 
28Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15 
World Cup team standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing145 pts
2Trek World Racing120 
3Santa Cruz Syndicate118 
4MS Mondraker Team113 
5Hutchinson United Ride101 
6Devinci Global Racing96 
8Lapierre International76 
9Monster Energy-Specialized67 
10Commencal / Riding Addiction55 
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team50 
12Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team43 
13Team Norco International41 
15Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team36 
16Madison Saracen Downhill Team35 
17Alpine Commencal Austria32 
18CG Racing Brigade26 
19Passion Velo.Fr22 
20Topcycle By Trek18 
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13 
22Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12 
23CK Racing Santacruz11 
24Torpado Surfing Shop10 
25Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace9 
26Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9 
27Unior Tools Team3 
28Ghost Factory Racing Team2 
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