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Athlete of the Year Winner

In less time than it takes to read this article, a World Cup downhill racer will have sprinted from a mountain-top starting gate, burned through every watt of energy a body could hold, negotiated a sinister fall-line trail of earth, wood, water and stone, burst under the finish-line timing display, and looked over his or her shoulder - hoping for green. Most will see red.

Pinkbike's award-winning athlete finished in the green for all seven rounds of the 2016 World Cup Downhill, and then capped off the season with a gold medal at the World Championships at Val di Sole, Italy. If that were not enough, she began her perfect season with seven consecutive wins from the year before - six World Cups and the 2015 World Championships. That's a record 13 World Cups and two World Championships in a row, in a sport where even the smallest slip-up can send a competitor tumbling off the podium.

All three of our nominees put in lifetime-best performances against arch rivals during a year when racing threw every imaginable terrain and weather at them: Nino Schurter capped off a stellar World Cup season with an XC World Championship victory, followed by the coveted Olympic gold medal at Rio de Janiero; Richie Rude crushed the Enduro World Series for the overall title; and Rachel Atherton aced the DH World Cup series and the DH World Championships. Ultimately, Pinkbike had to choose between great and phenomenal. Congratulations to Rachel Atherton: 2016 Athlete of the Year.

Race downhill and you will discover how much can go wrong in four minutes. I would wager that, until you approach the top 20 percentile of the professional ranks, gravity racing is damage control, pure and simple: don't crash, don't blow a corner, don't run out of gas, and don't break anything. At its highest level, however, downhill racing is about preparation, planning, execution, and risk management - and evidently, that's a formula that Rachel Atherton understands quite well.

Rachel didn't breeze through fifteen consecutive victories. Her rivals out-paced her a number of times in timed training and qualification rounds. Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole, Tracey Hannah, and Manon Carpenter all took some heat out of Rachel in quali's this season, with Seagrave only 0.7 seconds shy of the win in Lenzerheide. She had her own daemons to fight as well - back and shoulder injuries would plague her all season - but in every case, Atherton managed to assemble and execute a victorious final round.

The pressure of carrying the number-one plate and the media's expectation of victory would be burden enough to crush most athletes, or at the least, cloud their judgement and dilute their focus enough to blunt their competitive edge.
Rachel Atherton number one for the 11th time in a row.
Foot-out, flat-out in Switzerland. Rachel's winning streak was nearly derailed at Lenzerheide by Tahnee Seagrave, who out-qualified her and then came only 0.7 seconds short of green in the final.

Rachel shouldered those burdens, maintained her fitness at the razor's edge, arrived at start gate with the correct bike setup, the track memorized, and armed with the time to beat, laid down a race-run fast enough to win, with just enough restraint to avoid a puncture or a mechanical failure - for an entire season.

Pure domination once again from Rachel Atherton.

bigquotesI still can't really believe it! I totally thought it would never happen. The women's field is strong and the British riders have pushed me all season. Then, at the last round of the World Cup, Tracey and Pompon both went faster in quali's. They were riding so well in the dust...

I'm stoked, but it's kind of unreal. Especially now that I'm back home and stuck into the kitchen extension! The perfect season is proof of the hard work that goes in from the whole team, they are awesome!
- Rachel Atherton

No World Cup downhill racer could hope to accomplish a fraction of what Rachel has without an equally capable team. After seven straight races without a single mechanical, Joe Krejbich, her mechanic, was no doubt sweating bullets when Rachel got on the chair lift for her race run at the World Championships. Odds alone for a freak breakdown that day were the inverse of a needy person winning the lottery.

bigquotesWhen Trek and the Athertons partnered up for 2016, we knew we had the top female rider, but to put together the perfect season was unprecedented. It took our already elevated view of Rachel and the program and ratcheted it up even more. It's easy to write her off as being "dominant," but maintaining that level of performance and focus for a whole season, without slipping once, was spectacular for us to watch as both her partner and a fan. - Travis Ott: Trek global mountain bike brand manager

Rachel s track slayer almost ready to go.
Joe Krejbich preps Rachel's magic Trek.
Rachel Atherton bringing it home for a roaring crowd. Atherton took win number three today.
Fort William.

From the Ashes Finals - Vallnord DH World Cup 2016
The best go last - no telling what the track will be like after 100 riders have had a go.
Rachel Keeps cool while warming up. Temps were a touch better than they were yesterday but the day started of humid.
Rachel turns off the outside world and warms up for the Mont Sainte Anne final.

In the end, however, there is nothing her support group can help her with. When the start gate sounds, Rachel sprints onto the track alone against the clock, compressing her entire career into a controlled, four-minute explosion. It may be a long time before another pro downhill racer goes green fifteen in a row. We are fortunate to have watched the performance. Brava!

Rachel giving some riding tips to the girls during practice.
Rachel cultivates the next generation of female downhillers at her Red Bull Fox Hunt.

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  • 521 16
 Maybe her brothers should start riding with her.....they might learn something Wink
  • 73 11
 @SillyTorque careful I can see Gee and Dan throwing their toys out of the pram
  • 51 183
flag meathooker (Dec 6, 2016 at 5:35) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe Gee should "identify as a female" so he can race in the ladies class Smile
  • 88 337
flag paulmurphy1989 FL (Dec 6, 2016 at 5:56) (Below Threshold)
 After her feminazi rant I lost all respect for her. Bloody millennial.
  • 205 23
"I lost all respect for this undefeated world champion Athlete because she asked to be considered on her own terms and recognized for her hard work."
You can't handle her speaking out, but she's the baby right?
  • 228 81
 @Altabird: I lost respect for her, yes. I still respect her achievement.

I think it is such a shame she felt the need to attack Claudio when he was giving her major props.

He did not draw attention to her gender, she was the one who started talking bs about gender.

Claudio and Rob always talked about how Ratboy benefited from Peaty, why can't they say the same about Rach and her brothers.

She was looking to be offended so she could complain about a problem that doesn't exist in this sport.
  • 136 39
 How will she sleep at night... paulmurphy1989 has lost all respect for her...
  • 64 2
 @paulmurphy1989: I think the thing that irked me about that whole situation was that I've seen Claudio, in other broadcasts, correct other people that made similar comments about women riders. I distinctly remember an announcer saying something to the effect of "This course is really hard on these women" and Claudio making a point to step in and say that it's hard on the men, also. There were other instances that I remember seeing during some of his broadcasts, but that one stuck out the most for me.

I don't fault Rachel for getting upset, though. I don't think she was looking for a reason to be upset or focusing directly on Claudio, rather she was tired of hearing people say the same thing over and over again, Claudio was probably just the straw that broke the camel's back. Judging by what I've heard/read/seen from other women, both in riding and in other areas, they receive a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) sexism, regardless of how high they climb on their own. Her comments and response to Claudio were likely due to her hearing the same thing over and over again privately, then seeing a public figure make the same comment. You never know what she, or the other women riders, experience privately and every day.
  • 12 21
flag VwHarman (Dec 6, 2016 at 6:49) (Below Threshold)
 @paulmurphy1989: wow. That went totally off the tracks quickly. Other women on the race scene have brothers who race. Never during race coverage do we here about the girls benefiting from their brothers. Only with Rachel. Secondly, if your name is Paul whatever 1989, I assume you were born in 89. That would mean you fall squarely into the millenial age range. Hmm. I hate to use logic and common sense but...
  • 16 41
flag BMXrad (Dec 6, 2016 at 6:50) (Below Threshold)
 @paulmurphy1989: bang on buddy she only beat 4 other girls and is twisted as they come.
  • 19 12
 Despite the heavy bout of depression she's sure to face in the coming months because she lost the respect of a fellow millennial, I'm hoping she's ready for next season.
  • 67 23
 @paulmurphy1989: It's tiring seeing a bunch of dudes on a bike website explain when a woman can or can't feel like they're being insulted. I'm guessing you're a dude, you probably haven't had people add "for a woman" or "you're talented because of your brothers" as a qualifier to the end of every success you've had in life.

If you really think a comparison between Ratboy and Peaty is equivalent, then I think you're incredibly oblivious. Try to empathize with a viewpoint that isn't your own before trying to mansplain sexism. I doubt Rachel cares what you think about her accomplishments on a personal level, but I think this sport will be a lot better off if a lot of us evolve out of the stone ages.
  • 13 20
flag poozank (Dec 6, 2016 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: your profile says you are 31 which makes you part of the millennial generation as well, logic isn't your strong suit.
  • 13 9
 @paulmurphy1989: It was a dumb comment by Claudio and Rob, even if their intentions were in the right place.
  • 16 27
flag poozank (Dec 6, 2016 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 @mattbrown9: You are attempting to invalidate the opinions of the posters here simply because they are male. That makes you the sexist a*shole.
  • 17 8
 @poozank: but invalidating a woman's achievements due to the influence of males is perfectly fine? Pinkbike logic, I guess LOL
  • 14 5
 She completely deserves this IMHO. Why? Because women aren't as fast as men. For a woman, she is unbelievably fast. If she were racing in the men's division, she wouldn't have been on a single podium. But it's unfair to make this female-male comparison. Not sure why the obvious needs to be stated, but women and men are different. It's unfair to women if you say they're not.
  • 16 4
 @matadorCE: you really do t think the riding with her brothers, who can absolutely stop her on any track any day, wasn't a huge part of her developing into the racer she is today? It is like Ratboy and Peatie, she just got more years with Gee and Dan.
  • 19 1
 I think the reason people get a bit butthurt about this is that female DH just isn't as competitive as mens DH or many other female sports, like athletics for example.

Rachel dominates as she is overall the best rider in the field and that obviously comes with huge dedication towards the sport but it does not avoid the truth that it would be much more difficult for a rider to do this in the current mens category.

Anyway, lets hope Rachel goes into 2017 with a female field that is a little closer to her, I can see Tahnee getting there soon & well done to Rachel.
  • 9 6
 @mattbrown9: thank you, thank you, thank you! Well said. I can't even count the number of times I would have loved to have had the support and sensibility of someone like you in this industry/sport
  • 2 1
 @poozank: except I said nothing disparaging about millenials in any way shape or form. Good effort though.
  • 11 6
 @ZZephyr: I think that is complete BS in the current industry.

There is more chance of an average female rider getting industry help than a male rider by an absolute mile, the quality of riding must be much, much higher for a man (I understand this has to do with ability for the rider to provide product exposure but it is still the truth)

I would give examples of many female riders in this position but I don't feel that would be in good taste.
  • 12 1
 For the life of me I can't understand why people get so ruffled when others recognize that men and women are different. It's not a judgement of one being better then the other. And yes, Rachel most likely benefited from getting to spend so much time riding and being pushed by her two very fast brothers. Who doesn't elevate their own game when they get to train with others who are faster then them? That's something to be thankful for, not ashamed of or defensive about.

Congrats to Rachel. She would have been my pick as well.
  • 3 0
 @skookumsalmonarm: Of course it's a huge influence, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most likely all top women's DH riders are riding/training with men as well so why try to chalk Rachel's dominance as only down to the fact that she rides with her brothers? Both Tracey and Tahnee are racing/training with their brothers, but I didn't hear anyone saying that it was down to riding with her brother why Tahnee got within seconds of beating Rachel earlier this year.
  • 21 0
 oh my god why is everybody still talking about this
  • 2 4
 @paulmurphy1989: brave comment bro, mans got balls i agree mostly that the problem doesnt exist in the sport if a girl can send it then they equal respect as a bloke who can send it. like that girl at fest series cant remember her name who is sending it over fukin huge jumps at fest series. equal respect
  • 3 1
 @sellcrackcocainetofundhobby: respect mandem, respect. Safe.
  • 14 0
 What's the deal with her brothers? If you're family, sure you're going to be spending some riding time together at some point in life. Kaos with Tahnee, Manon with Jason (her dad), Tracey with Mick... And you're always going to feed off and learn. What's special with the Athertons is that Gee got better results than Dan and the industry was more interested in male than in female racers. But Gee insisted that if you want him on your team, you're going to have the whole family. This gave Rachel a level of support that was hard to get for women back then. Tracey and Mick Hannah were also racing but in different teams. I think Mick was on Cannondale or GT, Tracey was riding an Orange. She did pretty amazing back in 2007. I think she finished 3rd or so. But she just could make ends meet and left racing to operate heavy ground moving equipment. Like Dan does, but different. Of course with most WC racing in Europe (especially back then) it was always going to be more expensive for Ozzie riders than for the Brits to race. But I'd argue that if Tracey could have been on the same team as Mick, she could have kept racing.

So I'm not saying necessarily riding with her brothers has contributed to her great results. But I do think that especially in her early years when support for female riders was much lower than for males, being on a team with her brothers gave her access to funds, equipment, logistics etc that she otherwise wouldn't have had. Yes she could possibly get a better deal than her brothers now that she's racked up so many great results and now that female racers are getting more support and attention, but it must have been good for her to have gotten such great support right from the start.

I don't get the stick the Athertons are getting. If they're injured or still carrying injuries, they don't perform too well indeed. If they're fit, they're doing amazing. Rachel has suffered quite some injuries in the past that kept her from the top step. Luckily she's good now. Gee and Dan have both suffered some injuries this year (and Gee still managed to come down Ft Bill incredibly quick) but that doesn't mean that they're bad riders. Gee is a class act for insisting on taking his siblings along when shopping negotiating deals back in the day. And Gee is a class act for stepping down at the Worlds to allow Kerr to compete (and do incredibly well).
  • 4 0
 @vinay: The fact that that comment can be considered sexist is sexist in itself...too much bullshit, and people get offended way to easy! Of course shes the best, and of course it´s beacuse of riding with her brothers and the support they gave her riding together in the same team, the same way as it because of 150 thousand more reasons, all as important!
  • 6 6
 @fpmd: @fpmd: Then they should have two categories of athlete of the year, not one. Rachel's year is amazing compared to other females, but the competition was non-existent. When the accomplishments of the likes of Richie, Gwinn or Danny, with the competition they had, are compared as one group, she shouldn't even register.
  • 7 2
 @VwHarman: believe he's speaking about the larger "millenial culture". Also, you hear all the time about certain riders benefiting from their mentors or riders who they got to "follow" in some capacity. She has older brothers who are faster than her and who have continued to push their boundaries, thus allowing her to continually follow them and push herself. The stupidity of it all is getting your panties bunched up because someone makes a comment about you being able to follow someone else. It's not like they did the work for you, you still have to work your ass off. It just gives you more access to being pushed, and obviously helps you improve.

IMO, we are developing a culture where everyone wants to be offended and everyone wants a gold f*cking star and credit for everything they've done, and anything that *might* be able to be remotely taken in a way that doesn't showcase that is "offensive". I think that is what @paulmurphy1989 is irked over. No need to attack someone for a factual observation that made you uncomfortable. Also, how many girls have brothers who are in the league of Gee and Dan? Tracey Hannah comes to mind, and I'm not up on all my bike racer celebrities, but if you think about it, it's a worthy observation when your brothers are top level athletes, but maybe not so much if you're a rider who has surpassed your brothers. In many ways, it would actually be offensive to be like "oh so and so is riding great, you know, she must learn a lot from her older brother who won a national round this one time 5 years ago".

If Rachel was a junior or even just another male rider, they could say the same thing and it would be entirely appropriate.
  • 12 4
 Popcorn anyone?
  • 12 3
 @mattbrown9: ever heard of "youngest child syndrome"? It happens to younger boys and girls all the time. no one is mansplaining anything, a lot of us are just tired of the constant "I'm so offended" rhetoric and would prefer if it stays out of bike racing. In specific reference to the complain from Rachel, I looked it up just to make sure - it wasn't that much of a rant or anything, and I'm sure she gets tired of hearing how great it must have been to grow up riding with her older brothers. However, playing the gender card irks people, and rightfully so. Claudio's comment was harmless and true; everyone knows these riders work insanely hard, and if he had made the same comment about a dude, no one would have said a thing. I've literally heard the same thing said about Finn Iles. Being the younger sibling has great advantages when it comes to following the older kids and constantly trying to keep up. It also instills in you a lifelong sense of "I have to keep up" and when someone suggests that what you're doing, it's often sensitive and you say, "Yeah well I can do it myself!". Throwing the sexism card into the mix is a little unnecessary, but definitely becoming the popular thing to do.

There is nothing stone age about what was said or anyone's reaction in these comments. I'm not agreeing with people being mean, but comments like yours are also not helpful in the sense that you're playing the "well if you disagree it must be because you're some backwards individual clouded by "stone age" prejudice"

You can feel insulted whenever you want. Just know that man or woman, whatever color you are, whatever your sexuality, you are still subject to the opinions of others, who may find you are being unreasonable. That doesn't make them prejudice people simply because they don't share your exact experience.

Aside from all this BS, I certainly think Rachel deserves this award. I have looked up to her for a long time. I admire her ability to push herself so hard and be so dominant, when she could probably keep winning and not do as much. I have always envied people who have the drive to go 120 when everyone else is going 100. It's a struggle for me to do that, and I never really succeed. Rachel is the one rider that I have seen doing that for years. Her and Nico Vouilloz get so much of my respect and personal admiration.
  • 1 0
  • 2 10
flag jcklondon (Dec 6, 2016 at 14:10) (Below Threshold)
 There are some big egos in the Atherton family that is for sure.
  • 6 0
 @jcklondon: Could you elaborate? As I mentioned earlier, Gee did a lot in favor of others. Rachel does a lot for female British racers, clinics, sponsoring etc. And while the media seems to see Dan as the guy behind the Hardline race, he himself makes it very clear that a lot of people were involved. And according to his latest video, he even built another less technical track after that for others to enjoy. I don't even live there, but I've got a very strong feeling they're doing a lot for the riding community over there.
  • 8 3
 @matadorCE: the used he phrase "mansplain" a gendered term which seeks to silence men through means of gender shaming. It invalidates the whole point they were trying to make. It's like putting together a pro race relations statement and then ending it with a slur.
  • 2 1
 @vinay: no one can explain family. Some of us do not have any and some who do are shunned by their loved ones for idiotic reasons. Never try to understand family relationships.
  • 2 2
 @Adodero: she probably was on her days (it's a joke please don't kill me)
  • 2 2
 @Racer951: is that including the men she was faster through the speed trap
  • 3 0
 brace yourselves, the Paul Aston article about this comment section is coming.
  • 3 0
 @paulmurphy1989: I mentioned this same thing to my girlfriend as we were watching one of the events, and she says "well, let's see if he gets mentioned again during her run, and then see if she gets mentioned during his run. That'll kind of show where their subconscious is at". Sure enough, Claudio again mentions that she rides often with her brother during her run.

His run rolls around. Not a f*cking word about Rachel.
  • 4 3
 Pinkbike was scared of not rewarding her with athlete of the year in case of her retribution..
  • 2 1
 @vinay: *I* think there are some big egos there. I'm *not* saying they're all kitty killin' reptiles from venus. This discussion man... Just f*cking shoot me already.
  • 3 1
 @jayacheess: But he is the older sibling and the one who won everything first. Going back to my Ratboy/Peaty analogy you don't hear them saying during Peaties runs ohh he benefits from Ratboy.

Also, quite often when Gee is racing hard tracks they talk about the benefit of having Dan as a sibling due to his mad building skills.
  • 1 0
 @nick1957: What does that have to do with how competitive the female class of DH is?

In no way did I slate Rachels achievements either, you are barking up the wrong tree.
  • 1 0
 @paulmurphy1989: Still, Rachel had won every race at this point late in the season. Just mentioning that they're siblings AT ALL would seem somewhat appropriate - at least for the casual viewer. It seemed like a strange omission to me. I was kind of on board with your original point until this happened.
  • 1 1
 @mattbrown9: f*ck yeah @mattbrown9!!!!!! Well said!
  • 158 4
 Well deserved in my opinion. A perfect season in DH is an unbelievable achievement.
  • 72 2
 It's great to see Rachel get the recognition she deserves. Nice one Pinkbike!

As Travis from Trek said it's very easy to write her off as being 'dominant' but to maintain her level all season against competition that are all there to win, (lets face it no one goes racing to come second) underlines Rachel's amazing achievements in 2016.

You only have to look at what the pressure of bringing home one World Championship in F1 did to Nico Rosberg physically and mentally. It underlines the mental strength you need to stay on top year after year at this level of any sport. Then to put together the perfect season is a dream for any athlete. In a sport with so many variables like Downhill many would have thought it impossible until Rachel did it this year.

It's also great to see Rachel get the recognition she deserves for her work to develop Women's Downhill Racing. From sponsoring the Junior Women's Category at the British Downhill Series to working with the riders at Red Bulls Fox Hunt she's a fantastic advocate for Women's Mountain Biking and a real role model for all riders coming into Mountain Biking and looking at riding Downhill.
  • 37 4
 Was ready to go fucking mental if you chose anyone else. Well done pb, well done Rachel. The perfect season for the perfect successor to ACC
  • 35 1
 Looks like a...wait a minute!
  • 28 3
 Well deserved as many have said, it's a shame her achievements weren't recognised by the bbc sports personality awards and yet road riders were.
  • 23 2
 She's still in the running for BT Action Woman of the year (don't think votes have closed yet anyway). Everyone should get voting sport.bt.com/action-woman-2016-poll-01364108169407
  • 6 0
 @el-nombre: Go vote PB users! 1 click on the link and one click on Rachel and done! 3 sec.
  • 2 0
 @fracasnoxteam: shes won this now hasn't she? twitter did well, was a great night helping along the votes from my twitter accounts haha.
  • 20 2
 Wow! Pinkbike commenters acutally agrees on a decision!
  • 5 0
 I want a new category next year, "pinkbike comment thread of the year"
  • 3 0
 @daweil: goes to almost every single one under ARBR... this bike fell from the ugly mountain and cased each jump on the way down... fkng gold...
  • 14 3
  • 14 0
  • 4 0
 @fracasnoxteam: AAAAH! YOU TO SWEET HEART!
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
  • 13 3
 Congratulations and well deserved!! Her race times are so good that they often qualify for a top 80 position in the mens race. Awesome.
  • 8 1
 Well deserved, impossible to improve on perfection! Will any athlete ever dominate a season in the same way again?

Well, maybe Rach next season!
  • 10 2
 Pretty sure she was fighting demons, not daemons. She's not Tron Smile
  • 4 1
 Hooray for this comment.
  • 3 2
 What about Matt Damon?
  • 5 1
 Well deserved. It takes determination to win, but exponentially more to keep on doing it time and time again - this season was a huge achievement, was really glad to see the award go her way. As for the haters, you can only beat what's put in front of you - every other person in the women's field has the chance to step up, but couldn't manage to get close. Clearly Rachael was a class above this season.
  • 7 1
 15 consecutive wins is almost unfathomable, especially when you really consider everything that could go wrong. Congrats Rachael
  • 8 1
 Domination - deserved winner.
  • 6 1
 Was there ever a question? 100% she is the right choice for this award..did this situation occured other than this year? Don't think so..
  • 4 1
 Pumped she won the award but I'm still sticking to what I said after she won World Champs... Do this DH thing for one more year and then go try your hand at the EWS.

I miss the days when Redbull would show the top 20 women but as it stands when you have one girl who 90% of the time separates herself by a huge margin.... Yeah I can see the top 20 not really being worth it to them so the top 10 is all we get.

She knows she is going to go down as the best Female DH racer of all time and one of the best DH riders in general. So why not get out there and dominate another type of racing?
  • 7 2
 As a fully grown man who weight lifted a long time, her forearms in the first picture look stronger than mine.
  • 3 0
 Then you weightlifted wrong bud.
  • 4 2
 @paulmurphy1989: I thought the good old USA only had Bloody Millennials... So your telling me there are Mellennials all over the world? Where doomed were all doomed!!!! Millennials don't know how to design bikes, For 2025 the TR500 comes with a built in cry button for when u loose a race and the 2025 Glory actually comes with a hole!!! Can't wait to see what they make lmfao....
  • 9 4
 Danny harts wins were harder fought. Just my opinion
  • 3 0
 Someone wins every single world cup and world champs, turns out she's female. Dudes on the internet lose their minds. We've got a long way to go.
  • 4 2
 Hands down, Rachel is the most dominating force in mountain biking history. We are lucky to witness her accomplishments in real time.
  • 2 1
 Look up ACC and get some wisdom
  • 1 0
 This comment section is a hilarious trainwreck of butthurt. This ain't tumblr, people. Anyway... I would have given the award to Danny Hart, or (gasp) Brandon Semenuk. But that's just me.
  • 7 3
 Well deserved!
  • 12 9
 Love Rachel, but for me it's still N1NO...
  • 5 1
  • 4 2
 What about Richie going back to back EWS champion and breaking the champions curse?
  • 2 1
 Battling through an injury as well . . . . . .
  • 10 5
 So lets weigh this out. Richie breaking some imaginary 'curse', or Rachel dominating 15 wins in a row? Yeah, that's a toughie...
  • 3 1
 Well deserved. Rachel is a legend in her own right. Up there with Anne Caro
  • 2 0
 Congrats Rachel, hopefully you'll be the undisputed GOAT before you hang your pads up Smile
  • 2 1
 You guys bickering up top in these comments is the not the biz. Congrats Rachel, way to go, you bring much to the sport. End of story.
  • 1 2
 Buck toothed Brit ain't shit w/out the bros. Take away Gee & Dan & she's at the bottom of the field of 3 or 4 or w/e broads she goes up against.

Be nice if y'all stop pussin' around the obvious ya pussy cvnt bitches.
  • 1 0
 crazy maths. hope the girls have an answer this season, taking nothing away from a true DH athlete that leaves no stone unturned, awesome rach!
  • 5 3
 She's virtually untouchable on the Hill
  • 5 3
 happy birthday Rachel Smile
  • 3 1
 Congrats Rachel and happy birthday!
  • 4 1
 looks like a Session
  • 4 3
 You're damn rights she's the athlete of the year. Any other choice would have been a fallacy!
  • 1 0
 Only another eleven wins to beat Black Caviars' record and she becomes the winningest female athlete of all time!
  • 1 3
 What makes it worse is that she left out everything else Rob and Claudio said about her, they mentioned how she could stack up well against the men and that her riding style is as Rob quoted "on an entirley new level". However she decideds to bring a single meaningless quote and turn it into a personal attack SMH. Its funny that she goes on to brag about being faster than the boys at one point in the race, however the most important stat is that she is still 38 seconds slower than them, a time that would have put Rachel last in the mens standings at MSA.
  • 1 1
 Don't confuse Athlete of the Year with Personality of the Year. Rachel earned PB Athlete of the Year and earned it well. But her way of handling Claudio's comments was appalling. Her poor behaviour put more people off her than her results garnered I suspect and is the only reason I won't for her for SPOTY.
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 @Deuce-DeuceAndAHalf: Oh I totally agree, she has more than deserved this award as athlete of the year. It takes absolute dedication, obsession and raw talent to have a season like she did this year. You said it pretty well the way she handled those comments was anything but professional, however everything else she did this year was absolutely world class.
  • 3 1
 yeah rachel
  • 2 1
 No stevie? He gets the people's choice.
  • 5 4
 Better performance than the blokes - simple
  • 3 3
 Hard to argue that Rachel is Athlete of the year. Lots of the people we saw this year could have had this title though.
  • 5 3
 Awesome choice!
  • 4 3
 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year??
  • 3 2
 How is there any question?
  • 3 2
 Well Deserved! Congrats Rachel!
  • 2 1
 Yes, absolutely the right choice for this year.
  • 3 1
 Danny Hart!
  • 1 0
 Amazing rider, would give some of the pro men a run for there money!
  • 1 4
 In your dreams half my mates kick her ass we only having fun ski x
  • 1 0
 Congratulations Rachel!!!
  • 4 3
  • 4 3
  • 3 5
 Under the word "Professional badass" in the dictionary you will find Rachel Athertons photo !! A perfect season,,,,,,nuff said !
  • 1 2
 cheers buddy x
  • 4 3
 Well deserved. Period.
  • 2 1
 Rachel Wahh Atherton
  • 1 0
 N1no Smile
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 no contest.
  • 2 5
 Nino deserve it more! Anyway, Rachel still a nice choice.
  • 4 7
 Was hoping for a tie between McGazza and Chainsaw...
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