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Rachel Atherton wins Hafjell World Cup round

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) took her first World Cup title since 2008 on Saturday, after winning the final round of the downhill mountain bike World Cup in Hafjell, Norway.

The Hafjell track is new to the World Cup, but has already drawn strong praise from riders for its varied and technical terrain. After rain earlier in the week, the course dried considerably for a sunny and windy race day.

American Jacqueline Harmony, 10th fastest in qualifying, set the first sub-4:25 time for the women, a time that proved to be strong enough for fifth, and her first podium appearance. Harmony held the hot seat for two riders before Canadian national champion Casey Brown knocked over 10.5 seconds off to take the lead. Brown held the lead for four riders until the newly crowned world champion, Morgane Charre (, bumped her by nearly two seconds.

However, everyone was waiting for the final three riders to come down, which included the two who have been battling for the World Cup title all season: Atherton and Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker). Ragot qualified third fastest, and came through the speed trap significantly faster than anyone else, the first to beat Atherton's qualifying time with 4:03.828. Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) was the second fastest qualifier, but crashed hard in the middle of her run, leaving it up to Atherton.

Atherton had finished a disappointing fifth at the world championships, struggling with back problems and, at the first split Ragot was ahead by three-tenths of a second. But the British rider put in a brilliant lower half to her run, to win by 2.283 seconds, and take her first World Cup overall title since 2008.

"I am so happy the race is done," Atherton said. "The track was really hard, really challenging and really physical. I was probably the most scared I have been all year. I am really tired, I pushed all the way. It is an awesome track. I am really happy."

"It is cool [because] I haven't won the overall title since 2008, with all the injuries I've had. It is cool to finally be back at the top. I missed out at the world championships last week with an injury. It is just an amazing feeling, it hasn't quite sunk in yet."

Atherton won the 2012 title with 1450 points, despite missing the first round, with Ragot 140 points back, followed by the absent and injured Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) with 892 points.

Race note

- Many top women were not competing due to injury.  Among them were Tracey Hannah, Myriam Nicole and Floriane Pugin

- Former four cross world champion Anita Molcik was in her final World Cup race prior to retirement.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:04:01.545
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:02.283
3Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:08.853
4Casey Brown (Can)0:00:10.692
5Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:00:22.271
6Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:25.399
7Anita Molcik (Aut)0:00:25.893
8Anita Ager-Wick (Nor)0:00:26.848
9Tahnee Seagrave° (GBr)0:00:28.079
10Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:28.740
11Marianne Ruud° (Nor)0:00:30.787
12Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:31.074
13Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:32.934
14Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:35.138
15Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)0:00:36.454
16Sophiemarie Bethell (NZl)0:00:37.833
17Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:38.787
18Lina Skoglund (Swe)0:00:50.154
19Veronique Sandler (NZl)0:00:51.283
20Gabriela Williams (Cze)0:01:02.377

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Devinci Global Racing103pts
2MS Mondraker Team74
3GT Factory Racing72
4Santa Cruz Syndicate55
5Lapierre International36
6Passion Velo.Fr30
7Monster Energy-Specialized24
9Alpine Commencal Austria20
10Hutchinson United Ride20
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team18
12Commencal / Riding Addiction15
13Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing14
14Unior Tools Team12
15Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie12
16Trek World Racing12
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team11
18Team Norco International11
19Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace9
21Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof7
22Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd3
23CG Racing Brigade1
24Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team1

Elite women individual final World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing1450pts
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team1310
3Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction892
4Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride732
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott11705
6Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr546
7Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria511
8Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11500
9Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team500
10Anita Molcik (Aut)480
11Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International363
12Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) France239
13Casey Brown (Can)232
14Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense232
15Mio Suemasa (Jpn) Japan230
16Micayla Gatto (Can) Canada221
17Jacqueline Harmony (USA)180
18Tahnee Seagrave° (GBr)166
19Miranda Miller (Can) Canada140
20Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie130
21Tracy Moseley (GBr) Great Britain124
22Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace120
23Fionn Griffiths (GBr)115
24Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team105
25Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)105
26Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie95
27Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra) Brazil84
28Anita Ager-Wick (Nor)80
29Zarja Cernilogar (Slo) Slovenia70
30Claire Buchar (Can) Canada57
31Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop55
32Marianne Ruud° (Nor)50
33Chloe Gallean° (Fra) France45
34Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35
35Sarah Newman (GBr)30
36Gabriela Williams (Cze) Cg Racing Brigade30
37Sophiemarie Bethell (NZl)25
38Fiona Ourdouillie° (Fra) France25
39Carina Cappellari (Swi)20
40Lauren Rosser (Can) Canada20
41Lina Skoglund (Swe)15
42Elke Rabeder (Aut)15
43Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15
44Veronique Sandler (NZl)10
45Jana Bartova (Cze) Czech Republic10
46Jaime Hill (Can)10
47Jaime Rees (USA) United States Of America5

Team final World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing535pts
2MS Mondraker Team420
3Santa Cruz Syndicate402
4Devinci Global Racing379
5Lapierre International316
6Trek World Racing301
7Hutchinson United Ride275
9Giant Factory Off-Road Team249
10Commencal / Riding Addiction216
11Monster Energy-Specialized203
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof134
13Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team133
14Passion Velo.Fr104
15Alpine Commencal Austria98
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team94
18Team Norco International93
19Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team68
20Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie47
22CG Racing Brigade38
23Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace37
24Topcycle By Trek32
25Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing23
26Unior Tools Team23
27Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd23
28CK Racing Santacruz17
29Torpado Surfing Shop10
30Dagg - Racing9
31Dirt Norco Race Team4
32Ghost Factory Racing Team3


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