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Atherton flies to victory in Val di Sole

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Rachel Atherton ( GT Factory Racing) women's winner in Val di Sole

Rachel Atherton ( GT Factory Racing) women's winner in Val di Sole (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Floriane Pugin (Scott 11)

Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) (Image credit: Sven Martin / Domenico Galizia)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11)

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11) (Image credit: Sven Martin / Domenico Galizia)
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Floriane Pugin (Scott 11)

Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) (Image credit: Sven Martin / Domenico Galizia)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11)

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11) (Image credit: Sven Martin / Domenico Galizia)
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Tracy Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride)

Tracy Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) (Image credit: Colin Meagher)
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Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team)

Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) (Image credit: Colin Meagher)
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Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction)

Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) (Image credit: Colin Meagher)
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Elite women's podium in Val di Sole World Cup: Floriane Pugin, Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Emmeline Ragot, Morgane Charre

Elite women's podium in Val di Sole World Cup: Floriane Pugin, Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Emmeline Ragot, Morgane Charre (Image credit: Colin Meagher)
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Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker), World Cup leader

Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker), World Cup leader (Image credit: Colin Meagher)

After missing much of the past two seasons as she recovers from a shoulder injury, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) served notice that she is back with a vengeance, by dominating round two of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Val di Sole is known for its highly technical, rough and dusty track, and this year was no different, with new sections of the course buried under soft, loamy dirt that was nearly 30 centimetres deep in places. Crashes abounded, with former junior world champion Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) unable to start after injuring her shoulder earlier in the week during training.

Sabrina Jonnier (Labyrinth Shimano) was the first woman to spend an extended time in the hot seat, but she was then bumped out of contention by a pair of Austrian riders - Anita Molcik (Four Elements) and Petra Bernhard (Alpine Commencal Austria) - before a trio of French riders took the top spot in quick succession, with Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) the first to break the four minute barrier.

However, Nicole's reign at the top is was brief, with Atherton the next rider on course. Atherton, the world champion here in Val di Sole in 2008, was noticeably faster than than any other woman, finishing 4.485 seconds ahead of Nicole. The only rider remaining was the world champion Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker), who had qualified first, but she was no match for Atherton, finishing over eight seconds back in third.

"I still can't quite believe it," said Atherton. "The track here is so insane, it's so long and physical and wild. I knew that if I was going to win it I had to put everything on the line. I had a pretty good run and nearly crashed a few times, but you've just got to risk it, and I wanted to win."

Ragot takes the World Cup lead, since Atherton did not compete in the first round, with 370 points, followed by round one winner Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) at 322, Nicole at 261 points and Atherton with 240.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:03:49.436
2Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:04.485
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:08.083
4Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott110:00:15.446
5Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:20.301
6Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:00:23.207
7Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:23.884
8Anita Molcik (Aut)0:00:24.333
9Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:32.308
10Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:33.232
11Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:00:34.984
12Miranda Miller (Can)0:00:36.808
13Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International0:00:38.500
14Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:38.970
15Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:39.256
16Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)0:00:39.794
17Carina Cappellari (Swi)0:00:40.893
18Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:44.225
19Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:45.108
20Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense0:00:58.815
DNSManon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing102pts
2Lapierre International71
3MS Mondraker Team65
4Trek World Racing54
5Scott1153
6Santa Cruz Syndicate52
7Devinci Global Racing49
8Commencal / Riding Addiction35
9Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team34
10Giant Factory Off-Road Team26
11Monster Energy-Specialized24
12Passion Velo.Fr22
13Alpine Commencal Austria18
14SC-Intense15
15Hutchinson United Ride14
16Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13
17Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12
18CK Racing Santacruz11
19Torpado Surfing Shop10
20Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team10
21Team Norco International8
22Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing6
23Unior Tools Team3
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace3

World Cup individual standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team370pts
2Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride322
3Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction261
4Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing240
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott11220
6Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International185
7Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11180
8Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team165
9Anita Molcik (Aut)160
10Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria154
11Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense127
12Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr126
13Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84
14Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team80
15Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)65
16Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop55
17Mio Suemasa (Jpn)50
18Miranda Miller (Can)45
19Fionn Griffiths (GBr)45
20Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace40
21Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie35
22Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35
23Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie30
24Gabriela Williams (Cze) Cg Racing Brigade25
25Carina Cappellari (Swi)20
26Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)20
27Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team15
28Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15

World Cup team standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing145pts
2Trek World Racing120
3Santa Cruz Syndicate118
4MS Mondraker Team113
5Hutchinson United Ride101
6Devinci Global Racing96
7Scott1184
8Lapierre International76
9Monster Energy-Specialized67
10Commencal / Riding Addiction55
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team50
12Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team43
13Team Norco International41
14SC-Intense37
15Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team36
16Madison Saracen Downhill Team35
17Alpine Commencal Austria32
18CG Racing Brigade26
19Passion Velo.Fr22
20Topcycle By Trek18
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13
22Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12
23CK Racing Santacruz11
24Torpado Surfing Shop10
25Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace9
26Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9
27Unior Tools Team3
28Ghost Factory Racing Team2
29Kona1

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