Rachel Atherton Withdraws From World Champs

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We’ve just heard that Rachel Atherton has withdrawn from the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Championships having sustained an injury in a crash during the official timed session on Friday morning. She caught her hand on a bank, was spat over the bars and landed hard on her shoulder. X-rays have confirmed a fracture to her left clavicle.

Rachel, in GB team kit in Cairns Australia. Credit: Sven Martin

The blow is particularly hard as Rachel has battled to return to fitness this season after dislocating her shoulder at Fort William World Cup in June.

Atherton said: “I was feeling good today, back to my old self, riding strongly and super-confident as I attacked my timed training run. I’m absolutely devastated that the weekend has ended like this but I’ll be cheering on the rest of the British team with all of my heart.”

So much dust! Credit: Sven Martin

Iain Dyer, head coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “As a four time elite world champion and the current rainbow jersey holder, it must be very disappointing for Rachel to be forced to withdraw from these world championships though injury. On behalf of the Great Britain Cycling Team I would like to wish Rachel a quick recovery and we look forward to seeing her back to full strength ready for the new season.”

Will Rachel be back keener than ever next year? She’d already said she didn’t expect to repeat last year’s perfect season and that this year was about enjoying the races – but with two major injuries it doesn’t sound like our idea of fun.

Rachel was all fixed and looking forward to racing too. Credit: Sven Martin

While this is sad news for Rachel, it opens up the podium for just about anyone. Who will win?


Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (9)

    the announcement is imminent jonny .she will announce her retirement very soon .

    off to ensuro a year earlier than planned

    I’m Jonny, and so’s my wife.

    Chipps is El Debarge and I claim my £5.

    Is cash OK, Onzadog? 🙂

    Step forward Tahnee given she won the last few world cups

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