Rachel Atherton (Commencal) snatched victory at the fifth downhill round of the 2011 World Cup in Windham, New York after recording the fastest splits at every point on the course. Atherton, who also won on the Windham track last year in the World Cup final, said: "I love this track. It's short, which suits me. It was really dry so I knew I had to go fast throughout. I'm really stoked to be number one here today."
Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) claimed second, 1.348 seconds behind Atherton. Pugin was the fastest qualifier and was expected to dominate the day. However, although her split on the top of the course was the second fastest, it was almost four seconds slower than Atherton. World champion Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing), the World Cup leader, was third, 2.671 seconds back.
Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was the first under three minutes, but then Myriam Nicole (Riding Addiction-Commencal) recorded the first sub-2:55 time. Moseley, third from last to start, knocked 1.4 seconds off of Nicole's time, but then Atherton smashed that time by 2.671 seconds. Pugin, starting last slipped in between Atherton and Moseley.
In the World Cup overall standings Atherton gained enough points to solidify her third place position, and could still surpass Pugin with two races to go. Continuing as the points leader is Moseley with 1,080 points, followed by Pugin with with 980. The women's World Cup title is far from decided.
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.