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) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) Gt Factory Racing0:02:52.062 
2Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:02:52.324 
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team0:02:52.369 
4Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:02:54.646 
5Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:02:55.917 
6Micayla Gatto (Can)0:02:56.667 
7Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:03:01.360 
8Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Sc-Intense0:03:02.685 
9Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:03:03.993 
10Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:03:04.912 
11Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:03:05.683 
12Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:03:06.152 
13Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:03:08.531 
14Miranda Miller (Can)0:03:10.433 
15Anita Molcik (Aut)0:03:10.817 
16Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:03:11.141 
17Lauren Rosser (Can)0:03:17.387 
18Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:03:21.497 
19Jaime Hill (Can)0:03:29.742 
20Jaime Rees (USA)0:03:34.490 
DNFJill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International  
DNFDanielle Beecroft° (Aus)  
DNSFloriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Devinci Global Racing76 pts
2GT Factory Racing72 
3Hutchinson United Ride58 
4Lapierre International53 
5Giant Factory Off-Road Team52 
6Trek World Racing40 
7Santa Cruz Syndicate40 
8MS Mondraker Team37 
9Monster Energy-Specialized32 
11Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team27 
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof27 
14Commencal / Riding Addiction22 
15Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team20 
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team18 
18Alpine Commencal Austria14 
19Passion Velo.Fr12 
20Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace12 
21Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School ASD5 
World cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr)950 pts
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra)920 
3Myriam Nicole (Fra)751 
4Tracey Hannah (Aus)732 
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi)580 
6Jill Kintner (USA)363 
7Anita Molcik (Aut)350 
8Floriane Pugin (Fra)335 
9Morgane Charre (Fra)326 
10Petra Bernhard (Aut)308 
11Manon Carpenter (GBr)295 
12Miriam Ruchti (Swi)232 
13Micayla Gatto (Can)221 
14Mio Suemasa (Jpn)160 
15Sabrina Jonnier (Fra)157 
16Miranda Miller (Can)140 
17Tracy Moseley (GBr)124 
18Fionn Griffiths (GBr)115 
19Casey Brown (Can)95 
20Céline Gros (Fra)90 
21Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84 
22Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)70 
23Jacqueline Harmony (USA)65 
24Claire Buchar (Can)57 
25Alia Marcellini (Ita)55 
26Caroline Sax (Fra)55 
27Jessica Stone (GBr)50 
28Tahnee Seagrave° (GBr)35 
29Mélanie Pugin (Fra)35 
30Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35 
31Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)35 
32Sarah Newman (GBr)30 
33Gabriela Williams (Cze)25 
34Carina Cappellari (Swi)20 
35Lauren Rosser (Can)20 
36Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15 
37Jaime Hill (Can)10 
38Jaime Rees (USA)5 
World Cup team standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing364 pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate266 
3Trek World Racing261 
4MS Mondraker Team259 
5Devinci Global Racing245 
6Lapierre International244 
7Hutchinson United Ride229 
8Giant Factory Off-Road Team210 
10Commencal / Riding Addiction159 
11Monster Energy-Specialized157 
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof105 
13Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team95 
14Team Norco International82 
16Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team64 
17Passion Velo.Fr62 
18Madison Saracen Downhill Team61 
19Alpine Commencal Austria60 
20CG Racing Brigade37 
22Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie27 
23Topcycle By Trek25 
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace24 
25CK Racing Santacruz11 
26Unior Tools Team10 
27Torpado Surfing Shop10 
28Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9 
29Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD6 
30Dirt Norco Race Team4 
31Ghost Factory Racing Team3 


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