Andorra is widely held to be one of best tracks on the circuit, it’s steep and it’s technical – just like home! There are many positive associations here for the team, both Gee and Rachel have won here, including the “triple win” when all three siblings triumphed in their respective World Cups but it’s also a cruel taskmaster – Gee had a massive crash here in the 2015 World Championships after tagging a tree stump.
In yesterday’s qualifications both Athertons showed pace, Gee was a very solid 12th and Rach put an astounding 12.7 seconds into the rest of the field, throwing down the challenge for today’s Finals in no uncertain terms. Both Juniors did well with 3rd places and Charlie was steady in 42nd , still struggling with his hand ( he fractured his scaphoid in Leogang)
Come Finals day Mille maintained her show of form in the women’s juniors. She produced a very solid run bettering her quals run by 16 seconds earning her 3rd World Cup podium of the season – 3rd place. But Kade crashed out in the second sector dropping back into 15th place.
Then it was time for the Elite Women. First qualifier Rachel was last on track and looked set to repeat her qualifications scorcher,. She was in the green at split 1, extending to 4 seconds clear by split 2 but disaster struck. Rachel blew off course and lost a lot of time pushing back up.
She said “ I’m gutted, again! I can’t believe I blew off course, I pushed back up and tried to crack on but came in 4 seconds down. I’m so gutted but I’m still LOVING riding and I’m stoked with the way that I feel on my bike!”
In the Men’s Elite Charlie was suffering from stomach bug, unable to eat all day. He was sick in the start gate and felt weak for his entire run. The team had high hopes for Gee today after 12th in quals with plenty left in the tank. Finn Iles was in the hotseat when Gee came on track but it soon became apparent that today would not be the day. With a mechanical just moments out of the gate Gee failed to get into contention, 2.4 back by split 1 , just over 4 back by split 2. He crossed into 16th place, enough for an eventual 33rd.
1 Vali Holl 5.08.52
2 Anna Newkirk 5.23.83 + 15.30
3 Mille Johnset 5.24.36 +15.83
1 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 4.49.84
2 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.54.66 +4.82
3 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 4.58.53 +8.69
1 Thibault Daprela Commencal/Vallnord 4.15.46
2 Henry Kerr Propain Dirt Sixpack 4.21.92 +6.45
3 Kye Ahern Canyon Factory Downhill team 4.24.34 *.88
15 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 4.36.93 + 21.47
1 Loris Vergier Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.04.05
2 Amaury Pierron Commencal/Vallnord 4.05.38 +1.33
3 Brook MacDonald MS Mondraker team 4.05.65 + 1.60
4 Laurie Greenland MS Mondraker team 4.07.76 + 3.7
5 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 4.08.63 + 4.57
33 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.17.48 + 14.43
49 Charlie Hatton 4.22.05 + 17.99
1 Vali Holl 5.17.44
2 Anna Newkirk 5.40.87 + 23.43
3 Mille Johnset 5.50.97 +33.52
1 Henry Kerr Propain Dirt Sixpack 4.25.32
2 Thibault Daprela Commencal/Vallnord 4.27.58 + 2.26
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 4.30.37 +5.05
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.52.93
2 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 5.05.64 +12.71
3 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 5.06.52 +13.59
1 Luca Shaw Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.09.36
2 Danny Hart Madison Saracen Factory team 4.11.92 + 2.56
3 Laurie Greenland MS Mondraker team 4.11.93 +2.56
12 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.18.72
42 Charlie Hatton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.25.60 +16.24
Rachel maintains her lead in the Women’s Elite , Kade slips down to 4th in Mens Juniors, Mille stays 5th in the Women’s Juniors and Gee and Charlie are 22nd and 46th respectively.
In the team rankings Commencal maintain the lead, we slip one place into 4th
Pics: Sven Martin photo