Rachel Atherton: Pursuing Perfection - Video

Sep 14, 2016

All year she won everything she could. Lighting up the Downhill World Cup, winning every race and dominating the overall classification. But still, there was one more goal; the World Championships. Winning the rainbow jersey would make Rachel Atherton's already amazing season truly perfect.

In this mini-documentary, we follow the British downhill star in her pursuit of perfection in Val di Sole, Italy. After an emotional season full of wins, she is determined to extend her world title with one last blazing fast run down the Black Snake.

Special thanks to the UCI, Red Bull Media House and Trek Factory Racing team for their cooperation creating this documentary.

Big Score Audio - "At The Speed Of Light"
Soulish - "Easy As Pie"
Soulish - "Overtime Groove"

Title image by Dave Trumpore.

MENTIONS: @trekfactoryracingdh / @shimano / @trek


  • + 42
 Gee is only any good because of Rachel.
  • + 3
 Dan is only good because of Gee.
  • + 5
 @Thustlewhumber: Rachel is only any good because of Dan.
  • + 13
 @AlexS1: Dan learned how to build jumps from Rachel
  • - 14
flag lumpys (Sep 14, 2016 at 21:38) (Below Threshold)
 Thats the dumbest comment ever. Go shake your head under water!
  • + 1
 @lumpys: yea you never seen Rachel drive a front loading back hoe? It's f@cking hell on wheels brah
  • + 12
 An amazing season from an amazingly talented rider. Regardless of who she trains with this has been an absolutely outstanding year. You can only beat the other riders on your division and Rachel does this consistently. Yes we could have more women at the top but to say she doesn't have any challengers is doing disservice to the likes of Tracey, Tahnee, Myriam etc.. Congratulations on a stella season
  • + 18
 A perfect season!! how is this not the biggest news in mountain biking right now. What an incredible accomplishment, one that will not likely be topped anytime soon.
  • + 2
 It was an amazing season for Rachel. Pure unadulterated dominance. She can only beat who's in front of her. But with that being said, like most women sports, the field or fields are insufficiently represented. There is just not enough competition in the aspect of numbers of competitors and not necessarily challengers. The law of averages would dictate challengers and those name would be a merry go round like the elite men's field of competitors. I'll get negged right out of existence for saying that, but unfortunately it is the truth.
  • + 9
 Shes a good rider, but I think she only wins so much as there is not enough talent in the division as there is in the mens. And shes definitely fast because she has two world class brothers to train with. Thats with out a doubt.
  • + 3
 This is 100 percent the statement she wants to hear ..

Dont mess with rob warner Big Grin
  • + 6
 Put jill kitner in the WC circuit, why the fck dont u do it Norco !!!?
  • + 7
 @RedBurn: Kitner has done a lot of WC's. I've heard from local's that ride with her that she isn't really interested in doing them anymore. With her results I would expect Norco to send her if she wanted to go.
  • + 2
 I don't know why you are being neg propped, it's true. I mean at Val Di Sole, number 4 in the womens was 25 seconds back. In the men's that's 35th. It's really unfortunate that there are so few women racing, because the races are boring. I think I watched the first two women races and after that just got bored of her winning.
  • + 10
 Yo it's not her fault there isn't a stacked pool of female riders, as previous posts show she is actually trying to promote more girls in the sport. Shred on Miss Shreddington!
  • + 6
 i dont think the talent is lacking - there is just other factors that all combined make it look like there is no competition. Manon's confidence took a huge dent after the OTB in Scotland, Myriam has been plagued with injury, tahnee is young - wait till next season. tracey is there and thereabouts - she was definitely looking competitive at times ths year. There are also some new young guns coming through. I think next season is going to be interesting
  • + 2
 Tahnee almost beat her, Tracey and Manon and Pompon can also beat her, those other girls can beat her at every race, just because she won every race doesn't diminish the capabilities of this other racers. It's like your saying Usain Bolt or Phelps are not fast just because they beat everyone else, or ACC and Tmo at that.
  • - 2
 Do you think she is taking performance enhancing substances? Do they look for that in WC DH?
  • + 7
 Champ like no other. Respect to you Rachel
  • + 6
 now that Atherton's had her perfect season, I want someone to dethrone her
  • + 6
 I would love to see Tahnée do that!
  • + 2
 I think the state of talent in women's WC DH is partly because there is less money going around. I bet the amount of money going to athletes outside of the top 5 women falls off a lot faster than in the men's category. If any rider isn't getting paid enough to devote sufficient time to training, they aren't going to be able to ride at the top level. Yes, natural talent goes far, but in today's sport you have to be able to have the talent and fitness.

Rachel already gives a lot back to the community to promote women in DH. That being said, I've found myself wondering what if she created something similar to Steve Pete's SPS team? Maybe Rachel could use her clout in the industry to spearhead a sort of "farm" team for whichever team she's on. There's potential there for opportunity for riders that might not make enough $ to train at the highest level. Just a thought.
  • + 1
 I couldn't agree more.
  • + 1
 An unbelievable achievement to go through an entire season unbeaten, regardless of how strong her competition is. I think we would all like to see (including Rachel herself) someone step up to push her a little harder, hopefully Manon can get back to her best or Tahnee can get a bit stronger. As things stand the only thing that'll stop her is a crash or mechanical.
  • - 3
 Now why you gotta be like that
  • + 1
 She's a beast of a rider and what makes her fast is her will to win. Sure having two other beasts to frequently ride with is a nice bonus but make no misstake that racing and winning said races are done in the mind. She wins because she wants it the most at the moment. I have buddys that can ride better than me but I sure as hell can race alot better when it counts.

That is always the thing, laying down one particular run the best you can, its not "a" fast run its "that" fast run.
  • + 1
 I heard somewhere that she was this fast because she trains with her brothers.

I could be wrong though.

I mean, even if someone said that, doesn't mean they meant anything wrong by it?
  • - 4
flag foggeloggliod (Sep 14, 2016 at 14:52) (Below Threshold)
 stop spreading incorrect statements. Who cares who you train with, the results show who's better.
  • + 3
 No, it just means they have their heads so far up their sexist ass, it's poking put from where the head normally is but like a inside out version of it.
  • + 4
 @Sadikone1: So growing up riding with someone faster than you has absolutely no effect on how fast you become? I think this has been taken too far. The fact is, Gee is really fast! I don't know how much Rachel rides with him, but if she does I'm sure it helps her speed. Not because he is a man, simply because he is a faster rider. Look at the race times.

I feel bad for Claudio at this point. I don't think he meant anything sexist by his comment, and now he is tip-toeing around everything he says during Rachels runs.
  • - 2
 I'm sure everyone can relate to Rachel, "I didn't think I'd win, but then I did, and then when I thought my luck would run out, i won, then when I just didn't care, I won" wow. Must be tough to be Rachel.
  • - 2
 To be honest, I always skip the women's race and jump straight into the action
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