There is one more Atherton set to take on the world. Rachel wants the Top Spot
Rachel Atherton is impressive. Her speed, shape, aggression and line choice are all good and she looks great on a bike into the bargain. That’s natural, it’s getting the basics right that makes a rider look good, but some riders have an instinct for what they look like in the viewfinder. Rachel is one of them.
She’s tough too, knows exactly what she wants and takes no crap. And she’s not 16 until December. That gives her two more years as a Junior, but Rachel is so quick she’s expecting to race Elite next season.
“I compare my times with the Elite riders and I’d probably have come about 4th in Elite this year. I was a few seconds off Helen Gaskell and I think I could beat her with the right motivation. It’s hard to get really fired up in Juniors at the moment because I’m quite a bit quicker than the rest.”
You sound serious about your downhill.
“I am I want to go all the way. Take out Anne Caroline. Take over the world!”
That’s got the priorities sorted out then. How did this bike mania start?
“My dad discovered BMX and we all started riding. Then we moved house and there were no BMX tracks so we started riding mountain bikes. We just basically ride all the time.”
What about the things that usually screw up young riders. Booze? Boys?
“I was going out with a lad, but we split after the Nationals so it’s just my bike now. And, of course, I’m too young to drink.”
So I’ve heard. So what’s the plan next year?
“I’ve got my GCSEs, so I’ll just be doing the European World Cups, The UK Series and the Maxxis Cup, we really love that series.”
Can you do all that? Are you bright or shite?
“Reasonably bright, I think/hope. I reckon I can get the exams and show everyone who I am on my bike.”
Having met her we think she can too.