Atherton flies to Mont-Sainte-Anne downhill World Cup win

The last woman down the mountain, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing), took victory in the elite women's downhill World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne on Sunday. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) and Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) rounded out the top three. Nicole was just 1.842 seconds behind Atherton. Ragot was another half second back.

"I'm happy," said Atherton after her win. "I'm relieved because everyone is so fast and strong and they are a little bit crazy, like they don't mind if they crash. I'm scared to crash, and I think I was lucky."

"I wasn't risking everything, and you have to risk everything to win. One more minute of track, and I probably would have been second. It always surprises me how hard it is to race after four days of riding - Mont-Sainte-Anne is an extra day. It's tough."

Micayla Gatto set the first fast time of the day as the 10th rider down the hill. The Canadian finished in 4:59.435, a time that put her in the hot seat and would be good enough for fifth on the day.

"I couldn't be happier. I hit all of my lines. The only thing I could have done to get a better time was to have pedalled a little bit more," said Gatto. "I'm ecstatic. This is my first World Cup podium ever, and I'm absolutely over the moon."

She is looking forward to racing the Canadian national championships on the same course in July. "It's good that our Canadian champs will be on the same course. I think it will be an advantage to those of us who raced here this weekend."

Gatto's time held for another half dozen riders. That's when Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott11) set the bar higher with a 4:58.973. The Swiss rider was delighted with her performance.

"This is my best result ever so of course I'm satisfied," she said. "I was back at the first split, and my run wasn't the best. I could have done a bit better, but I'm really stoked with it."

Siegenthaler thought she made her run on the technical part. She was extra motivated after her teammate Floriane Pugin had to sit out the finals following a crash in practice in which she hit her head and was left dizzy. "I wanted to get revenge on the track that destroyed my teammate's face," said Siegenthaler.

The next rider up, Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride), did not set a new best time. "I made a mistake in the top woods, but it was pretty good," said Hannah. "It was dry and fast and I felt good. It was a very tough course, and I'm looking forward to next weekend in Windham. What makes this course tough is the length and the amount of technical bits in it."

World champion Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) set a new best time with a 4:52.357. She was going well enough that she might have won the race, but a mechanical put an end to her chances.

"I broke my chainguard, so I couldn't pedal any more after that in the bottom part," said Ragot. "It's the kind of thing that happens and you can't do anything about it. I had thought about it during training: 'If you break something, just keep going, don't brake and keep it smooth.'" She did just that and still managed to finish third overall on the day.

Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) bumped Ragot out of the hotseat with a 4:51.811. "I was happy to come first when I came down, but I had done two mistakes on the way down," she said. "I almost crashed and lost quite a bit of time, but second is not bad."

The only woman to beat Nicole was Atherton, who said her knowledge of the track helped her immensely.

"It surprises you how much you ride the track from memory because it is so fast," said Atherton. "I can't see the rocks and react fast enough, so a lot of it is memory. You hit holes and stuff that are new now and you just blast through them. It's wild."

"I felt tired out there. This track is so full on and 100 percent, and when you do get to a straight, you just want to sit down and relax. People were like 'come on pedal' and I was like 'I'm trying to relax'." Atherton had a particularly good top section and didn't want to throw it away down low by messing up.

The British gravity star was very motivated to be back in top form. "I think I can safely say that this is one of the first races in a long time that I attacked. I was very determined and very focused. It's the first time in awhile that I felt like I was really in the zone."

Canada placed two riders in the top 10 on home turf: Gatto in fifth and Casey Brown in sixth. The best American was Jill Kintner (Team Norco International) in eighth.

"My run was pretty good. I don't know why my time wasn't better. I guess I was just braking in spots where I could have been off the brakes," said Kintner. " It's so fast that you are taking in as much as you can. The course was real grippy - it was good. I should have pushed a little harder."

Ragot leads the World Cup standings with 740 points to runner-up Atherton's 700 points. Nicole is in third with 641 points.

Full Results

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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:04:49.969
2Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:01.842
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:02.388
4Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:00:09.004
5Micayla Gatto (Can)0:00:09.466
6Casey Brown (Can)0:00:11.735
7Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:16.016
8Jill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International0:00:17.007
9Anita Molcik (Aut)0:00:17.037
10Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:17.607
11Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:18.486
12Claire Buchar (Can)0:00:20.644
13Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:24.109
14Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:00:27.051
15Miriam Ruchti (Swi) SC-Intense0:00:27.324
16Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:27.754
17Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:00:27.895
18Jessica Stone (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:32.118
19Miranda Miller (Can)0:00:43.814
20Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:00:46.618
DNSFloriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11Row 20 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing80pts
2MS Mondraker Team69Row 1 - Cell 3
3Trek World Racing61Row 2 - Cell 3
4Lapierre International60Row 3 - Cell 3
5Giant Factory Off-Road Team55Row 4 - Cell 3
6Santa Cruz Syndicate54Row 5 - Cell 3
7Commencal / Riding Addiction52Row 6 - Cell 3
8Scott1141Row 7 - Cell 3
9Devinci Global Racing38Row 8 - Cell 3
10Hutchinson United Ride34Row 9 - Cell 3
11Monster Energy-Specialized28Row 10 - Cell 3
12Team Norco International18Row 11 - Cell 3
13Alpine Commencal Austria12Row 12 - Cell 3
14Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12Row 13 - Cell 3
15CG Racing Brigade11Row 14 - Cell 3
16Passion Velo.Fr10Row 15 - Cell 3
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team8Row 16 - Cell 3
18Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team8Row 17 - Cell 3
19Kona8Row 18 - Cell 3
20Topcycle By Trek7Row 19 - Cell 3
21SC-Intense6Row 20 - Cell 3
22Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team5Row 21 - Cell 3
23Unior Tools Team3Row 22 - Cell 3
24Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1Row 23 - Cell 3
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World Cup individual standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Emmeline Ragot (Fra)740pts
2Rachel Atherton (GBr)700Row 1 - Cell 3
3Myriam Nicole (Fra)641Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tracey Hannah (Aus)542Row 3 - Cell 3
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi)435Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jill Kintner (USA)338Row 5 - Cell 3
7Floriane Pugin (Fra)335Row 6 - Cell 3
8Anita Molcik (Aut)320Row 7 - Cell 3
9Morgane Charre (Fra)271Row 8 - Cell 3
10Petra Bernhard (Aut)234Row 9 - Cell 3
11Manon Carpenter (GBr)205Row 10 - Cell 3
12Miriam Ruchti (Swi)157Row 11 - Cell 3
13Tracy Moseley (GBr)124Row 12 - Cell 3
14Micayla Gatto (Can)110Row 13 - Cell 3
15Mio Suemasa (Jpn)110Row 14 - Cell 3
16Sabrina Jonnier (Fra)105Row 15 - Cell 3
17Miranda Miller (Can)105Row 16 - Cell 3
18Casey Brown (Can)95Row 17 - Cell 3
19Céline Gros (Fra)90Row 18 - Cell 3
20Fionn Griffiths (GBr)90Row 19 - Cell 3
21Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84Row 20 - Cell 3
22Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)70Row 21 - Cell 3
23Claire Buchar (Can)57Row 22 - Cell 3
24Alia Marcellini (Ita)55Row 23 - Cell 3
25Jessica Stone (GBr)50Row 24 - Cell 3
26Caroline Sax (Fra)40Row 25 - Cell 3
27Mélanie Pugin (Fra)35Row 26 - Cell 3
28Tahnee° Seagrave (GBr)35Row 27 - Cell 3
29Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35Row 28 - Cell 3
30Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)35Row 29 - Cell 3
31Sarah Newman (GBr)30Row 30 - Cell 3
32Gabriela Williams (Cze)25Row 31 - Cell 3
33Jacqueline Harmony (USA)20Row 32 - Cell 3
34Carina Cappellari (Swi)20Row 33 - Cell 3
35Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15Row 34 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
World Cup team standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing292pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate226Row 1 - Cell 3
3MS Mondraker Team222Row 2 - Cell 3
4Trek World Racing221Row 3 - Cell 3
5Lapierre International191Row 4 - Cell 3
6Hutchinson United Ride171Row 5 - Cell 3
7Devinci Global Racing169Row 6 - Cell 3
8Scott11162Row 7 - Cell 3
9Giant Factory Off-Road Team158Row 8 - Cell 3
10Commencal / Riding Addiction137Row 9 - Cell 3
11Monster Energy-Specialized125Row 10 - Cell 3
12Team Norco International82Row 11 - Cell 3
13Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof78Row 12 - Cell 3
14Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team68Row 13 - Cell 3
15Passion Velo.Fr50Row 14 - Cell 3
16Alpine Commencal Austria46Row 15 - Cell 3
17Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team44Row 16 - Cell 3
18Madison Saracen Downhill Team43Row 17 - Cell 3
19SC-Intense43Row 18 - Cell 3
20CG Racing Brigade37Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie27Row 20 - Cell 3
22Topcycle By Trek25Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kona16Row 22 - Cell 3
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace12Row 23 - Cell 3
25CK Racing Santacruz11Row 24 - Cell 3
26Unior Tools Team10Row 25 - Cell 3
27Torpado Surfing Shop10Row 26 - Cell 3
28Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9Row 27 - Cell 3
29Dirt Norco Race Team4Row 28 - Cell 3
30Ghost Factory Racing Team3Row 29 - Cell 3
31Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1Row 30 - Cell 3


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