Rachel takes National Championships for the 6th consecutive year and it’s podiums for all this weekend with 3rd places for Kade and Luke.
The pits felt quiet for National Champs this weekend with Gee resting his hip and repping the team at Trek World in Germany, Mille riding Norwegian National Champs and Muddy over in Australia.
So it was all down to Luke in Youth, Kade in Juniors and Rachel in the Senior women on a glorious afternoon in Rhyd y Felin.
Seeding went well despite a track that was “ like a bog” at the top. Tight wooded sections, berms, roots and a stump gap that’s caused at least five flats this weekend kept the challenge level high.
First up was Luke in the Youths. 2nd seed Luke said “ The track was pretty tacky, I had a couple of small mistakes but I’ll know what to do for Finals. “
Kade had a couple of offs in the muddy top section of Saturday’s practise ( see below!) the improved conditions meant that he stayed on board but he wasn’t that stoked on his seeding run “It was just alright” but he was still the highest ranked first year junior – just over 3 seconds behind leader Matt Walker and 3rd overall.
In women’s seeding Rachel went 2.7 seconds clear of Tahnee Seagrave in 3.17.32
Morgan Tyrell 3.09.59
Luke Williamson 3.13.21
Jamie Edmondson 3.13.63
James Elliot 3.16.76
Harry Barrett 3.19.15
Matt Walker 2.56.57
Joe Breeden 2.58.06
Kade Edwards 3.01.3
Joe Parfitt 3.06.93
Kaos Seagrave 3.06.95
1 Rachel Atherton 3.17.32
2 Tahnee Seagrave 3.20.01
3 Manon Carpenter 3.30.24
4 Elena Melton 3.50.18
5 Sophia Paull 3.57.14
By the time the Youth Men came on track for Finals the track was drying out well and feeling good. 3rd seed Jamie Edmondson put in a scorching run bettering the seeding times by almost 5 seconds. Luke couldn’t quite match his pace
(3.10.20) but first seed Morgan Tyrell brought the goods to take the win in 3.02.92
Luke said “ The track was in better condition, I just took it too easy, way too average for a National Champs – it’s horrible when you cross the line and you just want to go and do it again, pushing harder.” The Junior Men’s Finals was lit. Kade had seeded 3rd and the team were super excited when he roared into the finish arena 3 seconds faster than the top seed and with the fastest time of the day so far. He went into the hotseat 5 seconds clear of the field in 2.53.58. But the excitement was short-lived. On the next run Joe Breeden beat him by 0.5 seconds and the run after that Matt Walker stormed into the top spot 2.51 45, 2 seconds up on Kade.
Kade was disappointed, though it was a fantastic showing from the first year Junior. He said “ The run was good apart from one turn, I gapped it off the road, overcooked it and came to a stop.”
In the Women’s race Manon Carpenter was in the hotseat when Tahnee bested her by 9 seconds, her 3.16 was 1.3 seconds faster than Rachel’s seeding time.
Could Rachel (still fighting the aftermath of that disocated shoulder) bring enough to take her 6th consecutive National Championships?
She did it in 3.11.61 over 4 seconds clear of the field to take her 6th in a row and career 10th National Champs!
Rachel said “ That was mint! Everything that a British track should be with great conditions and loads of tight turns, Tahnee pushes me so hard, I remember being here in 2013 when I won Elites and Tahnee won Juniors and now look! All the young girl riders should be inspired by that!”
The Men’s race was won by Greg Williamson for the second year running
Morgan Tyrell 3.02 .92
Jamie Edmondson 3.04.12
Luke Williamson 3.10.20
James Elliot 3.11.27
Harry Barrett 3.15.05
Matt Walker 2.51.45
Joe Breeden 2.53.50
Kade Edwards 2.53.58
Henry Kerr 2.58.57
Kaos Seagrave 3.00.27
1 Rachel Atherton 3.11.61
2 Tahnee Seagrave 3.16.04
3 Manon Carpenter 3.25.74
4 Elena Melton 3.43.68
5 Sophia Paull 3.50.54
Pics: Dan Hearn