All Athertons, All Day: Rachel and Gee Score Double World Cup Downhill Titles


British mountain bike downhill racing siblings Gee and Rachel Atherton are no strangers to shared success. The brother-sister combo have been sweeping up podiums together for a long time now. They were back to their old habits this past weekend at the Val di Sole Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill races in Italy. Both secured double titles to follow up on their previous performances at Fort William.

Going into the finals, both Atherton siblings could feel comfortable having not only won the first set of 2013 Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill races at Fort William, but also qualifying first at Val di Sole. Rachel hit the track first on a day that saw warm, 80-degree weather. The 25-year-old brought home the victory with a five second lead over Emmeline Ragot. The female Atherton seemed to be unstoppable on the first two legs of the World Cup season.

“I am so happy, Atherton said. “That could be the most intense race I’ve ever ridden but now I’m even more in love with Val di Sole than ever and winning with Gee is rad!”

The men’s field was stacked for Val di Sole and the world champion, Greg Minnaar seemed to be back after a failed attempt at Fort William, the first stop on the 2013 World Cup tour. The course was a bit tricky, taking down some of the world’s best riders at time. With Minnaar and Canadian sensation Steve Smith throwing down impressive final times, it was all up to Atherton to follow in his sister’s footsteps. As the last rider down the hill, Atherton blazed down the course, winning by a margin of over a second faster than Smith, with Minnaar in third, an all Oakley men’s podium.

“I’d seen Rach take the win so the pressure was on,” Atherton said. “I’m over the moon, everyone is flying at the moment so it’s incredibly hard to win, the track is so rough and beat up but the GT Fury took all the hits.”

Men’s Results
1. Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 3:12.185
2. Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) +1.001
3. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) +1.250
4. Loic Bruni (Lapierre Gravity Republic) +2.471
5. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) +4.121
6. Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing DH) +4.123
7. Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) +5.280
8. Florent Payet (Evil CK Racing Evian) +6.341
9. Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR) +6.442
10. Markus Pekoll MS Mondraker Team +6.501

Women’s Results
1. Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 3:43.810
2. Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) +5.235
3. Floriane Pugin (Gstaad-Scott) +12.053
4. Morgane Charre (MS Mondraker Team) +14.233
5. Myriam Nicole (Commencal / Riding Addiction) +15.495
6. Casey Brown (Dirt Norco Race Team) +16.060
7. Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Downhill Team) +18.355
8. Emilie Siegenthaler (Gstaad-Scott) +20.180
9. Zarja Cernilogar (Blackthorn GT ) +21.090
10. Micayla Gatto +24.639