Atherton tops Hannah and Ragot in Windham

Briton becomes new World Cup leader

Round five of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Windham, New York gave Rachel Atherton (GT Factory) her third victory in four races, and she claimed the overall leader's jersey, despite a controversial decision not to disqualify her for exiting the course.

The hot, dry conditions that have turned the track into a dusty, loose and fast run all week, persisted for race day. The short, sub-three-minute run meant that there was no margin for error, and a few riders either flatted or crashed out of contention as they pushed the limits.

Third ranked Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) started uncharacteristically early after crashing in qualifying, and set the first sub-three minute time for the women. It would stand up until the final five women, when it was beaten by four riders. First, Emilie Seigenthaler (Scott 11) knocked 1.3 seconds off. American champion Jill Kintner (Norco International) was next, but crashed out, breaking her arm. Then Tracey Hannah, winner of round one, rode and took over the Hot Seat, two seconds faster than Seigenthaler.

"I've been struggling on some of the longer course, as I get used to racing those distances again," said Hannah. "This shorter, fast course was more to my liking."

However, World Cup leader Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) was right behind her, and looked to be on a good run, over three seconds ahead by the second split time. Unfortunately for Ragot, she was hit by a crosswind on the final jump, crashing within sight of the finish line, pushing her behind Hannah after she ran across the line, dragging her bike.

Atherton, the fastest qualifier, was last to ride. The British rider was fastest at both splits but then almost crashed herself after a jump, due to the wind which blew her sideways while she was in the air. The GT rider remarkably managed to avoid going down, fishtailing off the course before recovering without coming to a stop. She managed to finish a slim 0.262 seconds ahead of Hannah.

This set up a controversy: Atherton clearly did not re-enter the course where she had exited it, which traditionally has meant disqualification. However, the rules were changed in recent years, allowing the Commissaire President to avoid disqualifying a rider if he or she did not gain an advantage.

It was clear that Atherton had not gained an advantage, but for Ragot's MS Mondraker team, it left a bitter taste when it lost the leader's jersey over what they felt was an incorrect interpretation of the regulations.

"When I crossed the line I didn't even think that I'd be disqualified," said Atherton. "I celebrated and then they said we're not sure if the commissaire is ok. So we waited and waited. Everyone kept saying 'Yah you have the win'. It kind of puts a dampener on things, but at the end of the day the commissaires were ok with it. I lost all my time, I was two seconds up at the split, and I lost all that time, so it's the commissaire's decision."

"It has been an amazing season so far. The girls are getting so fast. Emmeline is on fire and she pushes me on. I have to step my game up every race. It is exciting to have everyone going so fast."

Atherton takes over the World Cup lead after five rounds with 950 points, 30 points in front of Ragot. Nicole continues to hold third with 751 points, followed by Hannah at 732.

Full results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Rachel Atherton (GBr) Gt Factory Racing 0:02:52.062  
2 Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride 0:02:52.324  
3 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team 0:02:52.369  
4 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott11 0:02:54.646  
5 Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction 0:02:55.917  
6 Micayla Gatto (Can) 0:02:56.667  
7 Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team 0:03:01.360  
8 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Sc-Intense 0:03:02.685  
9 Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria 0:03:03.993  
10 Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr 0:03:04.912  
11 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 0:03:05.683  
12 Jacqueline Harmony (USA) 0:03:06.152  
13 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 0:03:08.531  
14 Miranda Miller (Can) 0:03:10.433  
15 Anita Molcik (Aut) 0:03:10.817  
16 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) 0:03:11.141  
17 Lauren Rosser (Can) 0:03:17.387  
18 Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 0:03:21.497  
19 Jaime Hill (Can) 0:03:29.742  
20 Jaime Rees (USA) 0:03:34.490  
DNF Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International    
DNF Danielle Beecroft° (Aus)    
DNS Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11    
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Devinci Global Racing 76  pts
2 GT Factory Racing 72  
3 Hutchinson United Ride 58  
4 Lapierre International 53  
5 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 52  
6 Trek World Racing 40  
7 Santa Cruz Syndicate 40  
8 MS Mondraker Team 37  
9 Monster Energy-Specialized 32  
10 SC-Intense 28  
11 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 27  
12 Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 27  
13 Scott11 26  
14 Commencal / Riding Addiction 22  
15 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 20  
16 Kona 20  
17 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 18  
18 Alpine Commencal Austria 14  
19 Passion Velo.Fr 12  
20 Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 12  
21 Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School ASD 5  
World cup individual standings after five rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Rachel Atherton (GBr) 950  pts
2 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) 920  
3 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 751  
4 Tracey Hannah (Aus) 732  
5 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) 580  
6 Jill Kintner (USA) 363  
7 Anita Molcik (Aut) 350  
8 Floriane Pugin (Fra) 335  
9 Morgane Charre (Fra) 326  
10 Petra Bernhard (Aut) 308  
11 Manon Carpenter (GBr) 295  
12 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) 232  
13 Micayla Gatto (Can) 221  
14 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 160  
15 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) 157  
16 Miranda Miller (Can) 140  
17 Tracy Moseley (GBr) 124  
18 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) 115  
19 Casey Brown (Can) 95  
20 Céline Gros (Fra) 90  
21 Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra) 84  
22 Harriet Rucknagel (Ger) 70  
23 Jacqueline Harmony (USA) 65  
24 Claire Buchar (Can) 57  
25 Alia Marcellini (Ita) 55  
26 Caroline Sax (Fra) 55  
27 Jessica Stone (GBr) 50  
28 Tahnee Seagrave° (GBr) 35  
29 Mélanie Pugin (Fra) 35  
30 Martina Bruehlmann (Swi) 35  
31 Zarja Cernilogar (Slo) 35  
32 Sarah Newman (GBr) 30  
33 Gabriela Williams (Cze) 25  
34 Carina Cappellari (Swi) 20  
35 Lauren Rosser (Can) 20  
36 Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut) 15  
37 Jaime Hill (Can) 10  
38 Jaime Rees (USA) 5  
World Cup team standings after five rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 GT Factory Racing 364  pts
2 Santa Cruz Syndicate 266  
3 Trek World Racing 261  
4 MS Mondraker Team 259  
5 Devinci Global Racing 245  
6 Lapierre International 244  
7 Hutchinson United Ride 229  
8 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 210  
9 Scott11 188  
10 Commencal / Riding Addiction 159  
11 Monster Energy-Specialized 157  
12 Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 105  
13 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 95  
14 Team Norco International 82  
15 SC-Intense 71  
16 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 64  
17 Passion Velo.Fr 62  
18 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 61  
19 Alpine Commencal Austria 60  
20 CG Racing Brigade 37  
21 Kona 36  
22 Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie 27  
23 Topcycle By Trek 25  
24 Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 24  
25 CK Racing Santacruz 11  
26 Unior Tools Team 10  
27 Torpado Surfing Shop 10  
28 Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 9  
29 Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD 6  
30 Dirt Norco Race Team 4  
31 Ghost Factory Racing Team 3  


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