Atherton flies to Mont-Sainte-Anne downhill World Cup win

Frenchwomen Nicole and Ragot round out top three

The last woman down the mountain, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing), took victory in the elite women's downhill World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne on Sunday. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) and Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) rounded out the top three. Nicole was just 1.842 seconds behind Atherton. Ragot was another half second back.

"I'm happy," said Atherton after her win. "I'm relieved because everyone is so fast and strong and they are a little bit crazy, like they don't mind if they crash. I'm scared to crash, and I think I was lucky."

"I wasn't risking everything, and you have to risk everything to win. One more minute of track, and I probably would have been second. It always surprises me how hard it is to race after four days of riding - Mont-Sainte-Anne is an extra day. It's tough."

Micayla Gatto set the first fast time of the day as the 10th rider down the hill. The Canadian finished in 4:59.435, a time that put her in the hot seat and would be good enough for fifth on the day.

"I couldn't be happier. I hit all of my lines. The only thing I could have done to get a better time was to have pedalled a little bit more," said Gatto. "I'm ecstatic. This is my first World Cup podium ever, and I'm absolutely over the moon."

She is looking forward to racing the Canadian national championships on the same course in July. "It's good that our Canadian champs will be on the same course. I think it will be an advantage to those of us who raced here this weekend."

Gatto's time held for another half dozen riders. That's when Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott11) set the bar higher with a 4:58.973. The Swiss rider was delighted with her performance.

"This is my best result ever so of course I'm satisfied," she said. "I was back at the first split, and my run wasn't the best. I could have done a bit better, but I'm really stoked with it."

Siegenthaler thought she made her run on the technical part. She was extra motivated after her teammate Floriane Pugin had to sit out the finals following a crash in practice in which she hit her head and was left dizzy. "I wanted to get revenge on the track that destroyed my teammate's face," said Siegenthaler.

The next rider up, Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride), did not set a new best time. "I made a mistake in the top woods, but it was pretty good," said Hannah. "It was dry and fast and I felt good. It was a very tough course, and I'm looking forward to next weekend in Windham. What makes this course tough is the length and the amount of technical bits in it."

World champion Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) set a new best time with a 4:52.357. She was going well enough that she might have won the race, but a mechanical put an end to her chances.

"I broke my chainguard, so I couldn't pedal any more after that in the bottom part," said Ragot. "It's the kind of thing that happens and you can't do anything about it. I had thought about it during training: 'If you break something, just keep going, don't brake and keep it smooth.'" She did just that and still managed to finish third overall on the day.

Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) bumped Ragot out of the hotseat with a 4:51.811. "I was happy to come first when I came down, but I had done two mistakes on the way down," she said. "I almost crashed and lost quite a bit of time, but second is not bad."

The only woman to beat Nicole was Atherton, who said her knowledge of the track helped her immensely.

"It surprises you how much you ride the track from memory because it is so fast," said Atherton. "I can't see the rocks and react fast enough, so a lot of it is memory. You hit holes and stuff that are new now and you just blast through them. It's wild."

"I felt tired out there. This track is so full on and 100 percent, and when you do get to a straight, you just want to sit down and relax. People were like 'come on pedal' and I was like 'I'm trying to relax'." Atherton had a particularly good top section and didn't want to throw it away down low by messing up.

The British gravity star was very motivated to be back in top form. "I think I can safely say that this is one of the first races in a long time that I attacked. I was very determined and very focused. It's the first time in awhile that I felt like I was really in the zone."

Canada placed two riders in the top 10 on home turf: Gatto in fifth and Casey Brown in sixth. The best American was Jill Kintner (Team Norco International) in eighth.

"My run was pretty good. I don't know why my time wasn't better. I guess I was just braking in spots where I could have been off the brakes," said Kintner. " It's so fast that you are taking in as much as you can. The course was real grippy - it was good. I should have pushed a little harder."

Ragot leads the World Cup standings with 740 points to runner-up Atherton's 700 points. Nicole is in third with 641 points.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:04:49.969 
2Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:01.842 
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:02.388 
4Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:00:09.004 
5Micayla Gatto (Can)0:00:09.466 
6Casey Brown (Can)0:00:11.735 
7Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:16.016 
8Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International0:00:17.007 
9Anita Molcik (Aut)0:00:17.037 
10Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:17.607 
11Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:18.486 
12Claire Buchar (Can)0:00:20.644 
13Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:24.109 
14Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:00:27.051 
15Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense0:00:27.324 
16Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:27.754 
17Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:00:27.895 
18Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:32.118 
19Miranda Miller (Can)0:00:43.814 
20Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:00:46.618 
DNSFloriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing80 pts
2MS Mondraker Team69 
3Trek World Racing61 
4Lapierre International60 
5Giant Factory Off-Road Team55 
6Santa Cruz Syndicate54 
7Commencal / Riding Addiction52 
9Devinci Global Racing38 
10Hutchinson United Ride34 
11Monster Energy-Specialized28 
12Team Norco International18 
13Alpine Commencal Austria12 
14Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12 
15CG Racing Brigade11 
16Passion Velo.Fr10 
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team8 
18Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team8 
20Topcycle By Trek7 
22Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team5 
23Unior Tools Team3 
24Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1 
World Cup individual standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmeline Ragot (Fra)740 pts
2Rachel Atherton (GBr)700 
3Myriam Nicole (Fra)641 
4Tracey Hannah (Aus)542 
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi)435 
6Jill Kintner (USA)338 
7Floriane Pugin (Fra)335 
8Anita Molcik (Aut)320 
9Morgane Charre (Fra)271 
10Petra Bernhard (Aut)234 
11Manon Carpenter (GBr)205 
12Miriam Ruchti (Swi)157 
13Tracy Moseley (GBr)124 
14Micayla Gatto (Can)110 
15Mio Suemasa (Jpn)110 
16Sabrina Jonnier (Fra)105 
17Miranda Miller (Can)105 
18Casey Brown (Can)95 
19Céline Gros (Fra)90 
20Fionn Griffiths (GBr)90 
21Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84 
22Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)70 
23Claire Buchar (Can)57 
24Alia Marcellini (Ita)55 
25Jessica Stone (GBr)50 
26Caroline Sax (Fra)40 
27Mélanie Pugin (Fra)35 
28Tahnee° Seagrave (GBr)35 
29Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35 
30Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)35 
31Sarah Newman (GBr)30 
32Gabriela Williams (Cze)25 
33Jacqueline Harmony (USA)20 
34Carina Cappellari (Swi)20 
35Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15 
World Cup team standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing292 pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate226 
3MS Mondraker Team222 
4Trek World Racing221 
5Lapierre International191 
6Hutchinson United Ride171 
7Devinci Global Racing169 
9Giant Factory Off-Road Team158 
10Commencal / Riding Addiction137 
11Monster Energy-Specialized125 
12Team Norco International82 
13Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof78 
14Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team68 
15Passion Velo.Fr50 
16Alpine Commencal Austria46 
17Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team44 
18Madison Saracen Downhill Team43 
20CG Racing Brigade37 
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie27 
22Topcycle By Trek25 
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace12 
25CK Racing Santacruz11 
26Unior Tools Team10 
27Torpado Surfing Shop10 
28Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9 
29Dirt Norco Race Team4 
30Ghost Factory Racing Team3 
31Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1 


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