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Atherton tops Hannah and Ragot in Windham

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Micayla Gatto stretches out over the penultimate jump on her way to sixth place...

Micayla Gatto stretches out over the penultimate jump on her way to sixth place... (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) wear the Number 1 plate well (third place).

Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) wear the Number 1 plate well (third place). (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) gets a great launch off the next to final jump for second place.

Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) gets a great launch off the next to final jump for second place. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott) clears the next to last jump (fourth place).

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott) clears the next to last jump (fourth place). (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Micayla Gatto is surprised when she comes up a hair short.

Micayla Gatto is surprised when she comes up a hair short. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT) going sideways

Rachel Atherton (GT) going sideways (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Micayla Gatto ...but shorts the landing a bit.

Micayla Gatto ...but shorts the landing a bit. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Micayla Gatto's intensity is apparent...

Micayla Gatto's intensity is apparent... (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11) catches air

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11) catches air (Image credit: Scott11 Racing)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11)

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott 11) (Image credit: Scott11 Racing)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) stands for the National Anthem.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) stands for the National Anthem. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) atop the podium

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) atop the podium (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) sans goggles, helmet and other coverings.

Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) sans goggles, helmet and other coverings. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Emilie Siegenthaler, Tracey Hannah, Rachel Atherton, Emmeline Ragot, Myriam Nicole make up the Elite Women's Windham World Cup downhill podium.

Emilie Siegenthaler, Tracey Hannah, Rachel Atherton, Emmeline Ragot, Myriam Nicole make up the Elite Women's Windham World Cup downhill podium. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) flexes her muscles.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) flexes her muscles. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) flexes her muscles.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) flexes her muscles. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) in the World Cup Points Leaders jersey.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) in the World Cup Points Leaders jersey. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) drinks her Battenkill Dairy milk on the podium.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) drinks her Battenkill Dairy milk on the podium. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) takes a straight line over a jump...

Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) takes a straight line over a jump... (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) ...and lands close to perfect for fifth place.

Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) ...and lands close to perfect for fifth place. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) clears the final jump and sprints in for the win.

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Team) clears the final jump and sprints in for the win. (Image credit: Mike Gladu - velodrome.com)
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Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction)

Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott11)

Emilie Siegenthaler (Scott11) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride)

Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team)

Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Rachel Atherton (GT) gets air on the jump and then the wind catches her

Rachel Atherton (GT) gets air on the jump and then the wind catches her (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Rachel Atherton (GT) has some fun

Rachel Atherton (GT) has some fun (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Rachel Atherton (GT) takes over World Cup lead

Rachel Atherton (GT) takes over World Cup lead (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Round five of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Windham, New York gave Rachel Atherton (GT Factory) her third victory in four races, and she claimed the overall leader's jersey, despite a controversial decision not to disqualify her for exiting the course.

The hot, dry conditions that have turned the track into a dusty, loose and fast run all week, persisted for race day. The short, sub-three-minute run meant that there was no margin for error, and a few riders either flatted or crashed out of contention as they pushed the limits.

Third ranked Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) started uncharacteristically early after crashing in qualifying, and set the first sub-three minute time for the women. It would stand up until the final five women, when it was beaten by four riders. First, Emilie Seigenthaler (Scott 11) knocked 1.3 seconds off. American champion Jill Kintner (Norco International) was next, but crashed out, breaking her arm. Then Tracey Hannah, winner of round one, rode and took over the Hot Seat, two seconds faster than Seigenthaler.

"I've been struggling on some of the longer course, as I get used to racing those distances again," said Hannah. "This shorter, fast course was more to my liking."

However, World Cup leader Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) was right behind her, and looked to be on a good run, over three seconds ahead by the second split time. Unfortunately for Ragot, she was hit by a crosswind on the final jump, crashing within sight of the finish line, pushing her behind Hannah after she ran across the line, dragging her bike.

Atherton, the fastest qualifier, was last to ride. The British rider was fastest at both splits but then almost crashed herself after a jump, due to the wind which blew her sideways while she was in the air. The GT rider remarkably managed to avoid going down, fishtailing off the course before recovering without coming to a stop. She managed to finish a slim 0.262 seconds ahead of Hannah.

This set up a controversy: Atherton clearly did not re-enter the course where she had exited it, which traditionally has meant disqualification. However, the rules were changed in recent years, allowing the Commissaire President to avoid disqualifying a rider if he or she did not gain an advantage.

It was clear that Atherton had not gained an advantage, but for Ragot's MS Mondraker team, it left a bitter taste when it lost the leader's jersey over what they felt was an incorrect interpretation of the regulations.

"When I crossed the line I didn't even think that I'd be disqualified," said Atherton. "I celebrated and then they said we're not sure if the commissaire is ok. So we waited and waited. Everyone kept saying 'Yah you have the win'. It kind of puts a dampener on things, but at the end of the day the commissaires were ok with it. I lost all my time, I was two seconds up at the split, and I lost all that time, so it's the commissaire's decision."

"It has been an amazing season so far. The girls are getting so fast. Emmeline is on fire and she pushes me on. I have to step my game up every race. It is exciting to have everyone going so fast."

Atherton takes over the World Cup lead after five rounds with 950 points, 30 points in front of Ragot. Nicole continues to hold third with 751 points, followed by Hannah at 732.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr) Gt Factory Racing0:02:52.062
2Tracey Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:02:52.324
3Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team0:02:52.369
4Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott110:02:54.646
5Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:02:55.917
6Micayla Gatto (Can)0:02:56.667
7Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:03:01.360
8Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Sc-Intense0:03:02.685
9Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:03:03.993
10Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:03:04.912
11Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:03:05.683
12Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:03:06.152
13Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:03:08.531
14Miranda Miller (Can)0:03:10.433
15Anita Molcik (Aut)0:03:10.817
16Fionn Griffiths (GBr)0:03:11.141
17Lauren Rosser (Can)0:03:17.387
18Caroline Sax (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:03:21.497
19Jaime Hill (Can)0:03:29.742
20Jaime Rees (USA)0:03:34.490
DNFJill Kintner (USA) Team Norco International
DNFDanielle Beecroft° (Aus)
DNSFloriane Pugin (Fra) Scott11

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Devinci Global Racing76pts
2GT Factory Racing72
3Hutchinson United Ride58
4Lapierre International53
5Giant Factory Off-Road Team52
6Trek World Racing40
7Santa Cruz Syndicate40
8MS Mondraker Team37
9Monster Energy-Specialized32
10SC-Intense28
11Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team27
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof27
13Scott1126
14Commencal / Riding Addiction22
15Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team20
16Kona20
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team18
18Alpine Commencal Austria14
19Passion Velo.Fr12
20Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace12
21Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School ASD5

World cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rachel Atherton (GBr)950pts
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra)920
3Myriam Nicole (Fra)751
4Tracey Hannah (Aus)732
5Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi)580
6Jill Kintner (USA)363
7Anita Molcik (Aut)350
8Floriane Pugin (Fra)335
9Morgane Charre (Fra)326
10Petra Bernhard (Aut)308
11Manon Carpenter (GBr)295
12Miriam Ruchti (Swi)232
13Micayla Gatto (Can)221
14Mio Suemasa (Jpn)160
15Sabrina Jonnier (Fra)157
16Miranda Miller (Can)140
17Tracy Moseley (GBr)124
18Fionn Griffiths (GBr)115
19Casey Brown (Can)95
20Céline Gros (Fra)90
21Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)84
22Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)70
23Jacqueline Harmony (USA)65
24Claire Buchar (Can)57
25Alia Marcellini (Ita)55
26Caroline Sax (Fra)55
27Jessica Stone (GBr)50
28Tahnee Seagrave° (GBr)35
29Mélanie Pugin (Fra)35
30Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)35
31Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)35
32Sarah Newman (GBr)30
33Gabriela Williams (Cze)25
34Carina Cappellari (Swi)20
35Lauren Rosser (Can)20
36Tamara Maria Ulrich (Aut)15
37Jaime Hill (Can)10
38Jaime Rees (USA)5

World Cup team standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing364pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate266
3Trek World Racing261
4MS Mondraker Team259
5Devinci Global Racing245
6Lapierre International244
7Hutchinson United Ride229
8Giant Factory Off-Road Team210
9Scott11188
10Commencal / Riding Addiction159
11Monster Energy-Specialized157
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof105
13Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team95
14Team Norco International82
15SC-Intense71
16Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team64
17Passion Velo.Fr62
18Madison Saracen Downhill Team61
19Alpine Commencal Austria60
20CG Racing Brigade37
21Kona36
22Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie27
23Topcycle By Trek25
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace24
25CK Racing Santacruz11
26Unior Tools Team10
27Torpado Surfing Shop10
28Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9
29Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD6
30Dirt Norco Race Team4
31Ghost Factory Racing Team3

 

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