June 10, 2012
Racers woke up this morning to clouds and rain. What started as a ‘might keep the dust down’ few showers turned into proper heavy rain up the top of the course, with visibility down to 100yards or less. However, that hasn’t stopped tens of thousands of fans from braving rain and midges to stand trackside and yell…
The 2011 World Champion showed today why she deserves her stripes. Emmeline Ragot set off, having qualified mid-way down the field. She stormed into the arena, over 15 seconds up on the nearest rider. She then had to sit in the Hot Seat for a nail-biting ten more riders to come down the hill before she could find out if she’d won on the now slick and greasy course.
Last to come down was fastest qualifier Rachel Atherton – and she certainly had the crowd behind her as she charged down the course, getting slightly sketchy on some of the motorway jumps. Even the strongest of riders are starting to flag by then, but then they come into sight of the arena and the grandstand and hear the huge cheers go up.
Despite huge cheers from the home crowd, Rachel Atherton couldn’t make up the time lost on the top section of the course. Her split put her two and a bit seconds down, but as she came over the finish – last woman down with her fastest qualifying time – she slipped into second place, 1.3 seconds behind the current World Champ Ragot, having made up a second – probably purely due to the deafening cheers. In third place was the current French Champ, Myriam Nicole.
As we found out yesterday – <a href=”http://singletrack.mobi/fortwilliam/2012/06/10/emmeline-ragot-interviewed/”>http://singletrack.mobi/fortwilliam/2012/06/10/emmeline-ragot-interviewed/</a> Emmeline Ragot is probably stoked…
For a fair time, Tracy Moseley was in the running for a podium, only being knocked off the ‘hot podium’ top three by the last few riders. Not bad for someone who’s supposedly retired from downhill racing (and who was up the mountain yesterday with some sort of flaming torch…