Red Bull Foxhunt with Jeep and Rachel Atherton ran for its 3rd year this weekend. There were more riders than ever before (the max capacity 250 women signed up within 8 hours of registration opening) and a new location meant there was a longer, tougher and generally more challenging track.
The B-line was pretty popular !
The course was built by Rachel’s boyfriend Olly Davey and his team – the fact they were fresh form building Dan Atherton’s Hardline not lost on some of the nervous women riders!
It was clear how much of an inspiration Rachel has been to this group of riders – they are all ages and levels of experience but so keen!
Rachel said: “ The boys have built something awesome! There are some technical sections including a tricky off-camber turn and some steep sections, some pedaling at the top… There are multiple places to overtake so get off the brakes and have some fun.”
Considering the A-line approach …
This event has become famous for the supportive and welcoming atmosphere it offers, this year was no differernt with many of the riders attending for the 3rd consecutive year and experienced racers coaching their novice friends down the course.
The push-up did nothing to dampen spirits
Because there were almost constant downpours in the run up to the event there was a significant push up for Saturday’s practice – a great opportunity for jokes, chat and more last minute advice – Rachel’s Teepee tutorial on riding the off-camber section with the inside foot out reduced the crashes on that corner by approximately 50%!!
Rachel shows us how it’s done!!
Seeding was wet and very very slippery but race day dawned sunny and clear, the track started to get drier and more grippy.
Atherton Racing’s own Gill Harris was one of the riders racing for the first time ever. Gill said “ That was such fun! I couldn’t believe everyone was so polite, there actually a queue for one of the B-lines and when someone accidentally cut me up on one of the steep sections she was shouting apologies all the way! I’d started at the back just planning to ride down in my own time but once the race started I was LOVING the over-taking, finding the best lines…”
Rachel said “ Yeah I saw you, round the outside, brakes off – good effort! That’s what it was like for a lot of these ladies I think they really got a taste for competition!”
At the other end of the racing spectrum the first place was taken by Rosie Holdsworth in 3.44.87
After a blistering run, Rosie told us: “It was absolutely fantastic, an absolutely brilliant race. It was so much fun, such a good atmosphere.” Telling us about the course she said, “It was a really amazing course, tight in sections, pedally at the top, with lots of nice obstacles, and then I just tried to keep off the brakes and keep it lit for the rest of it.”
Rach had a puncture near to the top of the course but never the less managed to overtake more than 100 riders to finish 80th. Rachel said “ Thanks to everyone who has made this such a n awesome weekend! Every single one of you who rode here should be immensely proud, it wasn’t easy but you did it!!!!”
1st Rosie Holdsworth
2nd Roslynn Newman
3rd Rosy Monaghan
80th Rachel Atherton
171st Gill Harris
Pics: Rutger Pauw