World Champ hurt in training accident

Jan 19, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
Source: Animal Commencal

Current World Champion Rachel Atherton sustained a dislocated shoulder yesterday when she was involved in a training accident with a car. The Atherton trio have been training hard in Santa Cruz California since the start of January and yesterday was no exception. Details are sketchy but it seems Rachel hit the car head on with her brand new Cervelo road bike taking the brunt of the damage.
Photo by Sven Martin

Photo by Sven Martin


Rach has an appointment with the specialist today and hopes to be up and ready for the first round of the World Cup in April, further updates on Rach can be found at http://www.animalcommencal.com/

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252 Comments

  • + 212
 healing vibes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • + 101
 And positive thoughts.
  • + 70
 unlucky rach, get well soon
  • + 48
 hope your better soon Smile
  • + 59
 Yep, get better soon. Glad it wasn't fatal like the unfortunate two last week.
  • + 44
 best wishes for a speedy recovery, rachel! Salute
  • + 43
 freaking hell. rachel's lucky then, that she didnt get killed or severely injured. all the best to you rachel.
  • + 42
 Bloody cars, 2 of the best british dh riders killed, and now the #1 female dher.

Hope she has a quick recovery.
  • + 13
 All the best to u rach get well soon Smile
  • - 67
flag SuperManRudd (Jan 19, 2009 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 Shes soo fit Wink ... How dare the stupid car hit her :O Razz
  • + 34
 cars really seem to be taking a fight on with british downhilling this week
  • + 32
 3 british dhers killed my friend symo past not long ago in a car accident
  • + 30
 sorry to hear that stprider08
  • + 12
 Seriously? This is the thrid rider in the past week to get taken off the bike thanks to cars. Get well, this sucks.
  • + 11
 Get better soon rach!
  • + 11
 she's a trooper i bet she'll be back on the bike as soon as she can get better soon!
  • + 10
 hey guys (brits), just a question but do you guys have cycle lanes over your way? we do here in NZ and theyre wonderful. cars get $150 fine if caught driving in them.
  • + 8
 yeah we do have cycle lanes over here, but why should it matter.. the accident happened in SC California.
  • + 6
 we do, on certain roads... car are told not to drive in them but they do...
  • + 6
 Same thing here, It al depends on the area, the more snoody and rich the more bike lanes there are in socal.
  • + 6
 Hope you get better Rachel!
  • - 21
flag revyrules (Jan 19, 2009 at 15:24) (Below Threshold)
 Which down hillers got killed?
  • + 2
 Get well soon Rach, im sure you will win again this season!
  • - 7
flag surfhard987 (Jan 19, 2009 at 16:16) (Below Threshold)
 shes not dead...
  • + 0
 Sucks cuz Santa Cruz, Aptos and surrounding areas are hip to bikes of every kind. Everybody rides there and the vibe is cool. Just hope she didn't break anything so she can put this behind her and get to rippin it up.
  • + 2
 these days there seems to be a WHOLE bunch of drivers that are FAILS!
  • + 2
 why road bike rides are more dangerous then DH
  • + 1
 bad times rachel...all thinking about you, get well very soon
  • + 0
 This isn't woodstock forget the vibes and pray for her.
  • + 0
 "Rachel Atherton is feeling ok. thanks." 16 hours ago (from facebook :p)... Get better soon! Wink
  • + 1
 get well soon, and best wishes for a fast recovery...
  • + 0
 which two downhill riders were killed last week???
  • + 2
 How did you miss that? Ben Ineson and Tom Rogers were killed last week. It's been littered pretty much everywhere to do with mountain biking...
  • - 3
 wtf i get neg props for the same thing the jack-gerry says whats with that?
o and i was out skiing it was awesome
  • - 1
 ^^^ Get over it
  • + 22
 you can be the best cyclist in the world.... all it takes is one knob head driver...
  • + 2
 so tru. get well soon rach
  • + 1
 Too right, not a nice thought.
  • + 16
 Take that picture down, it's disrespectful. She is definitley feeling like shit, and the last thing she needs is pictures of her making her look like shit.
  • + 9
 Yeah it sucks that she was hurt and who knows how she feels about the picture being posted. But unfortunately there are 3000plus pictures of people on PB that have crashed and been hurt. Not much was said about those pictures so I don't see the problem with this one being posted. Now if the people that have replied were saying negative things above then maybe the picture should be removed out of respect for a fellow rider. But I have read nothing but get wells and healing vibes. That's just my opinion really and although your heart is in the right place I will have to respectfully disagree about taking the picture down.
  • + 1
 I checked this earlier this morning and it was a different pic and that's when all those comments got put up. Now I checked again and saw a different pic ( the current one ) I agree with "futterbuck," this pic should be removed! I would be mad if my pic was up there like that right after I got hit by a car!
  • + 3
 If I was her I'd be mad that the picture showed I havn't gotten tan at all in 2 months.
  • + 3
 You need to check out the team's website then. They have no problem displaying the pictures of their own... Stuff happens on bikes, she will look super tough after she recovers and comes back to win the world cup again...
  • - 2
 It's news. News has an obligation to show things like this. Showing a photo of her pre-crash would just be silly.
  • + 7
 get better, for WC action
  • + 6
 Get well soon Rach. Healing vibes and general best wishes. Hope you're not shaken up too much Smile Nurse
  • + 5
 I hope you get well as fast as you ride Big Grin
  • + 0
 I'm glad she'll recover and all, but is anyone else wondering why the Athertons are in Santa Cruz? Switching to the Syndicate perhaps?
If so, no other MTB team could ever touch their UCI point totals!

Road cycling is dangerous as all get out! We truly are better off in the woods.
  • + 3
 fuckin stupid drivers... get well soon rachel hope to see tou rip up the wc circuit again.
  • + 0
 Third party source on Ride Monkey... so I can't vouch for this information. It seems legit, to me.

From the local paper:

Quote:
Bicyclist injured in accident

A 21-year-old woman was flown to an out-of-county trauma center after being hit by a pickup while riding her bicycle around noon Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol. She was not wearing a helmet.

The woman, visiting from Britain, was biking northbound in the southbound lanes of Amesti Road just south of Browns Valley Road. She was riding with friends when she was hit, CHP officer A. Voorhees said.

"The exact cause of the crash is under investigation but basically she was on the wrong side of the road," Voorhees said. "She was with a group of riders and was the first to leave the closure at Amesti, came around the curve and drifted into the opposing lane."

The woman crashed into the windshield on the passenger side and suffered a dislocated shoulder as well as some cuts to her face, according to CalFire Capt. Tony Arnold.

The woman was conscious and breathing when medics responded.

"She just wasn't paying attention," Arnold said.

Traffic in the area was blocked for about 20 minutes, the CHP reported.

Aptos
  • + 2
 Shoulder problems all round for the Athertons! In the last nine months: Dan, broken collarbone; Gee, separated shoulder; Rachel, dislocated shoulder.

Collect the whole set!
  • + 2
 That's scary. That's why I quit racing road cuz you have to train with 1 and 5 ton obstacles that never acknowledge you're there. GET WELL SOON. This sport needs you!!!!
  • + 1
 is it me or is loads of bad things happening in the world of bikes latley, first mike atiken falling into a coma, then ben and tom, rest in piece boys. and now rach, esshhh get well soon!
  • + 1
 Well Mike Aitken wasn't wearing a helmet which is a bloody stupid thing to do.
  • - 1
 i guess, but still. at least he learnt
  • + 0
 its not that more things are happening to bikers, its more of the stories are making headlines like this
  • + 1
 HHmmm i guess you have a point, but thats kind of a good thing in away. Showing that this amazing section of sport is becoming more recgonised
  • + 0
 what a sad story, get well soon Rachel, wish you all the best
i hope you will heal as fast as you shred

Stay strong


life is so fragile & precious, things can turn bad so quickly... ride every day and appreciate it as if it was your last one.
  • + 2
 Fucking Ford drivers..... shit! go to the animal commencal page and look at the truck! shit! shes lucky she has a head still!!! Shes a beast she will get it agian!
  • + 2
 dude, I drive a ford ranger too, I've never hit a bike, but i did get hit by a honda once...not about the truck man, it's about the stupid drivers.
  • - 3
 personally I'm not fond of fords either but I've seen more idiots in s10s than i can count.....but yea F.O.R.D. found on road dead
  • + 1
 the only thing that puts me off getting a road bike CARS!!!! my MOST scary, dangerous times on my bike have been a 2.2mile commute to/from work
most drivers are F*CK*NG MORONS
get well soon champ!
  • + 0
 Horrible news.

NSGreg, if it was her head that smashed that windscreen (which is sort of is the right size for) then I can only assume she was wearing a helmet since she ain't dead or suffering from some brain trauma.

I'm guessing this driver has been hit by a few cars too. Note the the the 'Ford' logo on the front has been replaced with 'Arai', makers of motorbike helmets. As a cyclist I drive around looking out for cyclists, I assume that a someone into motorbike ridig would do the same. Pure speculation of course, but I don't think this driver was your average unaware-of-riders driver.

Recover soon, Rachel.
  • + 3
 Get well soon Rach, Hopefully this will be a bigger incentive to tear up the DH tracks again this year
  • + 4
 because she doesnt ride road bikes Smile
  • + 0
 just because shes a pro dh rider doesnt mean she doesnt ride a road bike for the fun of it every now and again......btw road bikes are the best bikes to train on bar none
  • + 2
 Unlucky Rachel, get well soon and don't worry there's ages before the first WC.
  • + 2
 yeah, get well, rachel.
but did she wear a helmet? because I don't see one, I hope she did.
  • + 2
 Roads are bloody dangerous. At least there's no cars to take you down on a DH track. Get Well Soon Rachel.
  • - 1
 Tombo,

Good link fella.
Yeah all agreed she doesn't look at her peak in the photo. Should it be taken down? This is all good publicity for the Atherton brand, look at all the comments. Thats why Dan Brown their Team Manager rushed this press release out for maximum exposure. That is his job and he done it well! Thats how it rolls.
  • - 1
 Total healing to you Rachel.

It sounds as if she was racing her brothers, cutting a corner. Bad decision but we all make them sometimes. The Com site says she and the driver swerved 'the wrong way' - understandable given that on US roads she's on the opposite side to UK roads.

What matters is that she's up and walking and will be back on a bike for the WC and will destroy all comers :-)
  • + 3
 So very sad, hope you get well soon Rachel, hang in there Champ!!
  • - 1
 jesus girl, wear a helmet. even a cheap xc lid saved my life when i got hit by a car, its definitely worth it. looks like you were pretty lucky this time, not even a broken bone, but seriously wear a helmet!! surely its a small price to pay, looking a bit less cool in exchange for your life. cmon rach, you're the female world champ, you get helmets for free! get well soon x
  • - 3
 she was wearing a helmet com on if she wasn't her hair would have been all messed up lol
  • + 0
 nope,no helmet
  • - 1
 I do hope the best for her, but why are most people so quick to jump to the conclusion that the car was at fault? If she hit it head on, either the car was in the wrong lane, or she was in the wrong lane, or it was a 1 lane road where all parties should be careful.
  • + 4
 oh no
Frown
such a legend
  • + 3
 she is gunna win no matter what a dick in a car does
  • - 1
 I am dissapointed now. How did she come into hiting the car head on (on a road bike)? The other day some old complained to me as I was ridding my bike on the pavement instead (she wanted me to go on the road), but I explained to her she did not stand a cat in hell's chance of me doing her and that, after God, I feared cars above anything else in the whole of the world (I did also appologize for the inconvinient). I've seen many people badly injured due to DH or XC trashing, but when cars get involved, things usually get far worse. I just hope for a quick recovery. God bless you Rachel.
  • + 3
 ooh, sorry to hear that. Training on road can be dangerousFrown
  • + 2
 god damn cars ..trucks...buses ! we are road users too . mon rachael , best o british
  • + 2
 yooo get better soon i live in santa cruz cali dont worry you dont look that bad
  • + 2
 get better soon Rachh hope u doo, extra cheerin on 4 u in the world cup, ull b bac on track soon Smile
  • - 1
 Just saw some more pics, she is in a neck brace, it was like a big Ford Ranger that she hit, big smash in windscreen. Before looking at the next world cup we should look that she is alive. I dunno why this hits me so hard, get well, im sure many prayers will go out tonight! We downhillers are tough people, you will bounce back. Wink
  • + 0
 i hope she gets well soon!

but also i have heard sitings of the Athertons riding in UCSC area... is this true? it'd be nice to try and chase them down some local trails! that'd be awesome! =]
  • - 1
 i've seen the pictures on their website and that's pretty serius, wouldnt wonder if theres even more what happend to her, but hopefully she gets better soon and also can get on her bike again...
  • - 2
 Rachel is pure Armadillo and will bounce back she was helicoptered of the UK national Champs course this year and was back in the afternoon from Hospital to watch her brother have a go for the National Champs jersey... road crashes are a problem for riders used to running on the left hand drive down the road when riding abroad in countries that drive on the other side especially when using narrow roads... If you see an approaching vehicle, your safety instinct says to pull to the left to let them come through, however the on coming driver sees a cyclist in effect steering into the middle of the road and then in effect riding against the traffic.. they are baffled to say the least and do not think the rider might be foreign.. the accident may not be all the drivers fault.. only the Athertons know.. All I can hope is she recovers fast ....
  • + 2
 hope her shoulder is better for the wc
  • + 2
 oh man that sucks! it easily could of been way way worse. get better soon.
  • + 2
 Healing vibes.... I wanna see race again this season....
  • + 2
 "see her"
  • - 1
 Shes been very very very lucky, hope she recovers quickly in time for beginning of World Cup season!! Glad its only a dislocated shoulder...could have been a lot worse....Get well soon Rach!!Smile
  • + 2
 Damn, hopes she recovers fast!
  • + 0
 that realy sucks, but thank God shes alive i cant imagine how terrible it would be if a rider died in training, get well soon
  • + 0
 Get Well Soon Rach.... I heard they were doing some testing on road bikes for a possible switch to track cycling with the GB squad.......
  • + 1
 healing vibes,,, always get hurt more around town than riding in the bush, damn cars!
  • + 0
 That sucks! I hope she gets better soon! I met her in whistler, her and gee are INSANELY nice. as said before.... "Healing vibes"
  • + 2
 jesus christ your one hard lass .. hope your alrite
  • + 2
 ye thats lame being hit by a car....I would know
  • + 1
 Shes a tuff girl. If its just a seperated shoulder, she will be just fine and ready for April! GOOD LUCK GIRL!
  • + 2
 really sad to hear,,stay strong rachel.
  • - 1
 best of luck in your recovery, I hate to see a fellow rider get hurt like that, but it happens, as i said best of luck and hope to see u heal up in time for the wc season start
  • + 1
 Looks ugly no matter whose fault. Speaking from experience - All the best in rehab!
  • + 2
 looks like it hurt... sucks for who hit her the bikes 5000 prob
  • + 0
 depends on what model she was riding, if she was riding the s3 try close to 10 gs
  • - 2
 O My friends dad just got one and his was around 5
  • - 2
 im not a road biker...sorry
  • + 2
 Get well soon rach Smile our thoughts are with uSmile
  • + 3
 get well soon!!!
  • + 0
 that sucks really bad, that picture of the annihilated windshield on their website shows how hard she must have hit, hope you feel better soon Rachel
  • + 0
 it really doesn't take much to break a windshield now a days......they are designed to collapse like that in case of a situation like this.....although they don't do much to stop dear and moose's from coming through.....
  • + 2
 get well soon rach! that sucks so bad
  • + 2
 Hope you heal quickly, she doesn't deserve bad luck like that.
  • + 1
 wow this is really making me sad...get well soon and may all the healing vibes reach you.
  • + 2
 get better
  • + 1
 especially in hawaii all of the locs drive around drunk and will get ya
  • - 1
 best wishes lass, she said on facebook she had been hit by a truck, but i didnt give it a thought till i seen the thread, jeez.
  • + 0
 I feel really bad for Rachel but lets focus on the positive here, Gee looks like a fucking Champ!
  • + 2
 cars suck
  • + 1
 dam! That sucks! Thats why we ride in the woods, no cars!! haha
  • + 1
 i hope she gets well enough to compete in the world cup damn cars
  • + 1
 Get better soon!!!from one car crash victim to another
  • + 1
 shes a pinner she will be fine
  • - 1
 HOLY CRAP - Go on the animalcommencal.com website and LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE TRUCK! She broke the windscreen with her face!
  • - 1
 Crap! ouch poor rachel Frown
Shes gotta get well soon!
  • - 1
 did any body notice the Arai helmets sticker on the truck?
hope it wasnt another rider driving
  • - 1
 i fail to see the sticker, but considering thats a fairly mountainous area, i wouldn't be surprised if it were another rider. wouldn't yea just feel like shit hitting a pro like that??
  • + 0
 look on the ford badge on the grill
  • + 1
 that suck shes like the best girl biker everyBig Grin

Get well soon rach:PBig Grin
  • + 2
 hope the best for ya!
  • + 0
 Is that Gee in the 80s spectacles and his skinsuit? Cant believe that Big Grin

Anyhow, lets wish rach a speedy recovery!
  • + 0
 OMG! POOR RACHEL! I hope you will be better.
  • + 0
 wow gnarly get well soon, sorry
  • + 0
 that sucks...good luck on the road to recovery...one tough girl
  • + 0
 unlucky... get well soon and all that
  • + 1
 helmets !!!
  • + 0
 she is lucky she's alive,hope she recovers fast.
  • + 0
 Damn... Thats sad to see....
  • - 1
 did it report somewhere she didn't have a lid on? wow...she is very lucky. hope you get to pinning it soon, Rachel.
  • + 0
 Get well soon Rachel.. and kick some butt out on the trails! Good luck.
  • - 1
 Heal up soon Rach, we dont want you to be out of shape for WC! Healing vibes are to you my friend.
  • - 2
 This is why I will never road bike. I'm staying in the woods where it's safe. Good luck with the recovery Rachel. Shoulder injuries are tough.
  • + 0
 damn that sucks. Hope you get better soon rachel>Big Grin F@!king cars.lol
  • + 0
 Get well soon Rachael. Hope to see you on top as usual!
  • + 0
 I'm gonna go stab the car driver.
  • + 0
 holy shit Frown hope she better soon
  • + 0
 Good healing Rachel! Get well soon Wink
  • + 1
 Get well soon Rach!
  • - 2
 blinkin road bikes are such death traps to ride, I hate them! I hope she gets well and is able to shred/dominate the next season without any set backs!
  • + 0
 crazy i just rode with her the other day
  • - 1
 that didn't help her...
  • + 0
 im just sayin its crazy that she got all hurt like that when she was just killin it the other day.
  • + 0
 Thats generally what happens...
  • + 0
 hope she gets better soon
  • + 0
 hope you are back up to speed soon!
  • + 0
 Wow.. Get better Rachel!!
  • - 1
 if she recovers as fast as she rides it wont be a problem... get better soon,
  • + 0
 call me stupid but, which to dhers died in the past two weeks?
  • + 0
 god damn. I hate hearing these stories. feel better.
  • + 0
 She’ll kick everybody's ass during the first WC anyway…
  • - 1
 i have heard that she is doing alot better now, and just needs some good rest.
  • + 0
 good luck on a speedy recovery
  • - 1
 some people should learn how to drive a car without hitting other people on the road
  • + 0
 hope you heal fast Rachel! Glad to hear it wasent worse than it is!
  • + 0
 Rachel hope you're in no pain now.... Get well soon !! All the best, M
  • + 0
 makes my stomach turn, hope she's okay
  • - 1
 I like how people where fast to pick on the driver as per usual, bunch of disrespectful pricks. Get well soon Rachel.
  • + 0
 Hope you get on your bike soon... Positive thoughts and "healing vibes"!
  • - 1
 man that was not me who said that these little fucking punks in my towm no my pass word so settle down
  • + 0
 i hope shes fine for the first world cup.
  • + 0
 get better soon rach! hopefully see you shredding up the first wc round Smile
  • + 0
 Why do cars trucks trees hard objects always win !
  • + 0
 hmmm let me see.......ford ranger(about 1200bls.) vs. 200bls of bike and rider????i wounder who's gonna win....simple physics, pretty sad considering I'm in grade ten and i figured that out on my own........and im not surprised the driver didn't notice her, because motor cycles(300-600 lbs) still don't get noticed so I'm not really surprised at all
  • + 0
 Lol i hear ya ive been hit every year on the road they dont care always on the cell thank god for the new law againt cells while driving !
  • + 0
 OH YEA!!!!!!!!to bad they tossed in the blue tooth dealio, i think if ur phone rings u pull over and answer it
  • + 0
 holy shit!!!
poor rachel!
Hope she heal up soon :S
  • + 0
 Wow, I am really glad she's ok. Could have been far worse. Healing vibes.
  • + 0
 Get well soon Rach
  • - 1
 get well soon. your tough you will get through more power to you.
  • + 0
 that chicks tough
  • - 1
 pensamento positivo Rach! rezamos por você!
  • + 0
 get well soon.
  • + 0
 gett better soon rachel
  • + 0
 GET WELL SOON!!
  • - 2
 Yea... this is a great example of why bikes should not be with cars...stay on the dirt!RIDE DH! she just got unlucky....
  • - 1
 hope she gets better soon an be ready!!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 :o ouch!
  • + 0
 good luck Rachel....
  • + 0
 hope she's ok
  • - 2
 Accidents happens, can't avoid them. Wich you to get well soon Rach!! Cause people like you give others ''INSPIRATION''
  • + 0
 Get well soon Rachel. Smile
  • - 2
 i bet u nything he drove into her!!!!!! bastard driver taht doesnt liek cyclists...
  • - 1
 All the best Rachel - use that winning spirit to heal!
  • - 1
 Ouch! What a crap! Get well soon Rachel!
  • - 1
 get well soon hope your bk up and biken soon


not into cars thought Smile
  • + 0
 Get well soon!
  • + 0
 Get well soon..Frown
  • + 0
 Get well soon Rach..
  • - 1
 wow that suck you look fucked up gett better soon !
  • - 1
 best of luck. its horrible to see a fellow rider go down
  • - 1
 oajala este bien y qe no influya en tu carrera! fuerzas rachel
  • - 1
 OH NO... I think he scars will probably make her hotter though.
  • - 1
 shit, what a bad start to her year! get well soon Rach!
  • - 1
 hope your back on the bike soon rachel. Smile
  • - 1
 get well soon culross riders
  • - 3
 get well soon rachel, conquer the world again lol
  • - 3
 hope she didn't hurt her vage
  • - 2
 ouch!
  • - 2
 just no
  • - 3
 holy crap, 3 dh-ers to get taken off a bike by cars in the past week... get better soon
  • - 1
 Good healing!
  • - 2
 Well thats really shitty get better soon
  • - 2
 Feel better Rachel. Best wishes and good lucky. This is all too common.
  • - 1
 omg! =[
  • - 1
 i just changed it
  • - 1
 you*
  • - 1
 fuck cars
  • + 0
 Fuck bad drivers, We all get to dh races by some kind of vehicle. Just Hate the lame people that dont knowhow to drive.
  • + 0
 ohhh i never thought of that smart!
  • - 1
 :'( Get better soon!
  • - 2
 sweet sunglasses, those are stylin' !
  • - 1
 get well soon
  • - 1
 best wishes
  • - 1
 get well soon rachel
  • - 1
 get well soon rach!!
  • - 2
 get well soon. hope your ok.
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