With 2009 having been a season to forget for Rachel Atherton the last thing she needed was another shoulder injury half way into 2010.
Well, fate being somewhat fickle and not necessarily a big supporter of World Cup racers, that's sadly exactly what she got.
A crash in her race run at the third round in Leogang saw her dislocate her 'good' shoulder and effectively put pay to the remainder of her challenge for the overall crown.
Speaking on her personal blog the youngest Atherton had this to say;
"Things seem rather clear to me at the moment. I guess that when big things happen, everything drops into a rather more grounded perspective, and so it was with a clear, if somewhat sepia head that i decided it would be in my best interests not to race."
Sepia or not, the remaining World Cup rounds at Val di Sole (where she claimed World Champs glory in '08) and Windham in the US are both technical, unforgiving tracks. With that in mind, Rach is looking instead to the World Champs in Mont St. Anne, Canada at the end of August as the main focus of her season.The short-term goal however, is to be back on the bike and racing again by Crankworx.
With an injury-free and resurgent Sabrina Jonnier imposing her raw speed on podiums everywhere though, the Worlds could be a big ask for Atherton. Will this latest injury be the nail in the motivational coffin or just what Rach needs to guide her to a second set of rainbow stripes? Only time will tell...
Don't forget you can keep up with all the latest news from the Atherton Racing camp both on Bikeradar and on their official site.