6 times World Champion Rachel Atherton will not be travelling to Leogang this week following intense discussions with her medical team. Rachel wrote to her Continental Atherton team partners this afternoon to break the news.
As you know, this last year I have been rehabbing my ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that has tested my mental strength to the limit! I knew it would be a long road back to the top, and after intense discussions with my physio of the last 10 years, Doug Jones of Altius Healthcare & long conversations with the rest of the team, I have taken the decision not to race at the World Champs this year because I am just not 100% since my Achilles rupture.
This is a really hard decision to make, whenever I have been injured in the past I have rushed back quickly and returned to the top step within months, a gruelling task for the body but a task that I relish. I have been working so hard to be ready but unfortunately this time I am just not there yet, and I can’t risk further injury.
My body has been through so much over the years. Now I need to listen to what it’s telling me and respect what it has allowed me to achieve by giving it time to fully recover before I do battle again! I will keep working hard, keep pushing forward and keep the fire burning.
This sport is a tough game and we must take the ups and the downs, there have been a lot of ups in my career, but also a lot of downs, injuries for me are part of the deal, so I will just keep on working till I’m ready again.
I'd like to thank all of our team partners and all of the downhill fans who’ve sent me messages of support and encouragement over these last few months - I cant tell you how much it means to me
I wish all the British team the very best of luck, especially the women and our own Charlie Hatton, so gutted not to be with you – bring those medals home!—Rachel Atherton