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BBC Midlands honours Rachel Atherton

The awards keep coming for Great Britain's first ever World Champion in Downhill racing, and why shouldn't they! After a stellar season that saw not only the awarding of the Rainbow stripes, but also an international presence that had Atherton rattling the cages of the best World Cup elite riders like Anne-Caroline Chausson, Sabrina Jonnier and Tracy Moseley, the awards and recognition are greatly appreciated.

This time it was the BBC Midlands Sports Awards, which are held annually for outstanding sporting achievements by those who reside in the region where Atherton lives. Like the previous award from the Sunday Times, Atherton won for the category of 2005 Young Sportswoman.

The event was held last night at the National Motorcycling Museum in Birmingham and was jam packed with sport stars from the Midlands, including Olympic medallist Denise Lewis and cricketer Ashley Giles who was recently part of the great Ashes win for England.

Atherton, who celebrated her 18th birthday last week, said "I was totally surprised by winning as the other nominees were really strong. Not a bad birthday present. I'm honoured to be recognised like this and can't wait to race again next year."

The awards will be on shown on BBC Midlands at 6.30pm throughout the coming week.

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