The GT Factory Racing Team, partner of the German tyre manufacturer Continental, seem set firmly on the road for success. Rachel Atherton is dominating the women’s elite class, while her brother Gee is back on the podium after his recent injury.
After three stages of the UCI World Cup 2012, GT Factory Racing comfortably lead the team rankings. Manager Dan Brown can be justifiably proud of his team as Marc Beaumont, Gee, Dan and Rachel Atherton continue their great form.
The youngest of the Atherton trio, Rachel (25) seems to lord it over the women’s elite class, even though she has had to settle for second place at Fort William. Because of her late start to the season she is also standing at 2nd in the overall World Cup rankings behind her French rival Emmeline Ragot.
After sitting out Pietermaritzburg (RSA), she took her first victory at the iXS European Downhill Cup in Monte Tamaro at the end of April. About one month later she was on the top step in Leogang (AUT), an important test race for the World Championships and the second run of the iXS European Downhill Cup.
Just one week later in week in Val di Sole Rachel treated us to a super exciting race against Myriam Nicole (FRA) and Emmeline Ragot. Riding strong on her Continental Mud Kings, Rachel emerged the victor. She shone again in the Fort William qualifiers, shattering the competition with a blistering ride nearly 10 seconds faster than the field but in the finals Ragot stole the win by a hair's breadth.
“The season has started really well. I'm feeling, strong and I'm feeling confident. Of course I want top move up the ranks that final place to take the overall win. My team and sponsors are right there with me so watch out”, comments the Conti athlete.
Rachel's brother Gee (27) started his season with a fourth place in South-African Pietermaritzburg, but at the end of March a crash during training left him with a tibia fracture. Unlucky, but it could have been worse, World Cup scheduling meant that Gee had chance to recover between stages one and two, making it to a very respectable third place at his comeback in Val di Sole.
On Fort William's wet and slippery track Gee relied heavily on his Continental Black Chili Compound Only to deliver an almost perfect won that grabbed him 3rd position. In the overall ranking Gee currently sits in third - but don't expect him to rest there! “Yeah - I had a bit of a setback but the season is far from over, every day I pull back a bit harder."
In just two weeks we will see the GT Team again in Canada’s Mont Saint Anne, where the next race of the UCI Downhill series takes place.
The team have already packed their Continentals giving them a grip advantage that can be crucial especially in the gravity disciplines. Continental as tyre partner wishes the GT Factory Racing Team all the best for the next races and for the rest of the season.
The latest events, results and further information about the GT Factory Racing Team as well as about all other Conti teams and athletes can be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ContinentalMTB/235588236540292
For more information about Continental’s bike section, check out:www.conti-fahrradreifen.de