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Ragot wins women's downhill World Cup in Windham

Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) broke Rachel Atherton's Windham World Cup winning streak on Saturday afternoon when she won the elite women's downhill race.

"It was a short run so I had to focus and just think about it," said Ragot to Cyclingnews. "I rode it fast and I think I was in control though it may have looked like I was on the edge of control."

As rider after rider came down the mountain and set a new fast time, bumping the previous fastest woman from the hot seat, it seemed like business as usual.

But when Micayla Gatto (Pivot Factory Downhill) undertook her run, she crashed hard and was not able to resume racing. Gatto was later reported to be upright and talking, but disoriented, probably after hitting her head.

Tahnee Seagrave (FMD Racing) was told not to start, then to start, but during her run, she started seeing red flags everywhere. She also saw her friend Gatto on the ground but was not allowed to talk to her. Given the red flags affecting her run, she was sent right back up the lift to do a re-run.

"Micayla Gatto is one of my best friends. I saw the red flag at the top and they were telling me not to go, but then they were telling me to go so I went," said Seagrave. "There kept being red flags in my face, so I knew I couldn't keep going. I slowed down to try to talk to Micayla, but they wouldn't let me. I was hoping she was all right."

Once Gatto was safely off course, officials briefly debated whether to halt all competition while Seagrave worked her way back to the top, but with the pressure of live TV coverage, Jill Kintner (Norco) and Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) were sent down the mountain in the meantime. Both set new fastest times. Kintner knocked off 1.4 seconds to be the fastest American on the day while World Cup leader Carpenter dropped the bar another six seconds.

"I was a little too conservative down the steep bits. You just have to let it go. These girls go fast, and I just need to go a little faster," said Kintner.

Seagrave did run number two, which wasn't a fastest time but was good enough for fifth on the day.

"I figured I could push it a bit more although I did clip out in the first corner on the second run," said Seagrave. "The up side of that was that it made me push hard lower down. I didn't expect to do well here, but I have, so I'm happy."

Third to last was Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR), who was two seconds faster than Carpenter and ultimately third overall.

"I had a good run. I knew I had to pin it as hard as I could at the top," said Hannah. "I had a fast run and yes, I made a few mistakes, but you can't not make mistakes on a track this short."

Ragot was the second to last woman to start, and she had a blazing fast run, taking a whopping 6.9 seconds out of Hannah's time.

Current world champion Atherton started last and after making some mistakes up top, she never really got into her groove. Still a respectable run, Atherton finished second, 2.886 seconds off Ragot's pace.

Atherton had won all three previous Windham World Cups.

"It was such a fast track. It was so fast and short. You make one tiny mistake and it's hard to get over it," said Atherton. "I made a mistake at the top and I was panicking after that - trying to push and make time. I was getting messy. I knew it wouldn't be a winning run, but anything can happen, so you have to keep going."

"It's cool to have all the girls so fast. All year it's been pretty tight, so it's good."

Carpenter defended her World Cup lead and now has 1180 point to Ragot's 1110 and Atherton's 1060, setting up what will be a close race going into the World Cup finals in Meribel, France in two weeks.

"I had a good run - it was pretty safe," said Carpenter. "I had a bad crash a few years ago here when I was a junior, and there's something about this track that I struggle with. I would have like to place higher to help me out points wise but I'm happy to still be leading. It's going to be tight going into the last round."

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:02:40.100
2Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:02.886
3Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR0:00:06.948
4Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team0:00:08.727
5Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) FMD Racing0:00:09.456
6Jill Kintner (USA)0:00:15.299
7Vaea Verbeeck (Can)0:00:16.718
8Katy Curd (GBr)0:00:18.035
9Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:00:18.301
10Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team0:00:20.193
11Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:20.948
12Alanna Columb (NZl)0:00:25.435
13Carina Cappellari (Swi)0:00:27.169
14Camila Nogueira (Arg)0:00:31.636
15Sophie Tyas (NZl)0:00:32.921
16Fiona Ourdouillie (Fra)0:00:33.124
17Jaime Hill (Can)0:00:33.315
18Chloe Gallean (Fra)0:00:35.098
19Tegan Molloy° (Aus)0:00:35.425
20Alison Zimmer (USA)0:00:36.949
DNFMicayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory DH Team

Elite women downhill World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Factory Team1180pts
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic1110
3Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing1060
4Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson Ur792
5Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction662
6Tahnee Seagrave (GBr) FMD Racing615
7Jill Kintner (USA)570
8Morgane Charre (Fra) Evil Vengeance Tour497
9Fionn Griffiths (GBr)420
10Micayla Gatto (Can) Pivot Factory DH Team399
11Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Gstaad-Scott278
12Casey Brown (Can) Bergamont Hayes World Team221
13Vaea Verbeeck (Can)186
14Carina Cappellari (Swi)160
15Tegan Molloy° (Aus)150
16Katy Curd (GBr)90
17Veronique Sandler (NZl)90
18Danielle Beecroft (Aus) Green To Gold Race Development85
19Fiona Ourdouillie (Fra)70
20Alanna Columb (NZl)57
21Claire Buchar (Can)55
22Steffi Marth (Ger)55
23Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)55
24Sophie Tyas (NZl)55
25Marine Cabirou° (Fra)55
26Sarah Atkin (NZl)50
27Chloe Gallean (Fra)50
28Alia Marcellini (Ita) Lee Cougan Dirty Factory50
29Jana Bartova (Cze)45
30Mariana Salazar Palomo (ESa)40
31Diana Marggraff (Ecu)40
32Camila Nogueira (Arg)40
33Harriet Latchem (GBr)40
34Lorena Dromundo Vargas (Mex)30
35Jaime Hill (Can)25
36Zarja Cernilogar (Slo) Blackthorn GT20
37Viktoria Gimenez° (Fra)20
38Gabriela Williams (Cze)20
39Jessica Stone (GBr)15
40Sarah Booth (Aus)10
41Alison Zimmer (USA)5
42Hope Jensen° (GBr)5
43Ellie Wale° (Aus)5

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof72pts
2Lapierre Gravity Republic70
3Specialized Racing DH67
4GT Factory Racing64
5Trek World Racing61
6Santa Cruz Syndicate60
7Madison Saracen Factory Team43
8Hutchinson Ur34
9Devinci Global Racing29
10Bergamont Hayes World Team25
11FMD Racing22
13Commencal / Riding Addiction19
14Kona Factory Team14
15Orange Dirt World Team, O'neal12
16Pivot Factory DH Team11
17Evil Vengeance Tour10

Team World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lapierre Gravity Republic398pts
2GT Factory Racing393
3Madison Saracen Factory Team385
4Santa Cruz Syndicate355
5Specialized Racing DH345
6Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof299
7Trek World Racing275
8Commencal / Riding Addiction255
9Hutchinson Ur231
10Giant Factory Off-Road Team220
12Devinci Global Racing124
13FMD Racing113
14Evil Vengeance Tour107
15Pivot Factory DH Team94
16Bergamont Hayes World Team93
17MS Mondraker Team64
18Kona Factory Team59
19Orange Dirt World Team, O'neal37
20Unior Tools Team36
21RRP Ghost23
22Green To Gold Race Development17
23Lee Cougan Dirty Factory10
24Banshee Bikes Factory Team9
25Blackthorn GT4
26Team Bulls - DH2

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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