Rachel Atherton Sponsors the British Downhill Series' Junior Women's Category

Mar 4, 2015
by Fraktiv  
Rachel has long been a passionate advocate for getting more women and girls riding and racing mountain bikes. It is her firm belief that sport, in particular racing downhill, can give young women a confidence and self-belief that no amount of shopping or make-up could ever come close to. That is why this year, Rachel will be sponsoring the Junior Women's category at the British Downhill Series.

Rachel's sponsorship of the category will be very practical, with prizes for winning riders from her sponsors. The reason for this is Rachel's belief that so many girls are currently hampered in their racing performance by not having the correct kit or set-up. With this kind of sponsorship, those who win will win essentials like mud tyres from Continental, brakes from Shimano and clothing from IXS. Furthermore, Rachel and her mechanic Joe will be on hand on Fridays at several of the races to run Race Preparation Clinics. All women will be welcome to come along for advice on set-up for the current track and conditions and guided track walks.

bigquotesI was lucky, having two big brothers who dragged me into riding when I was probably more interested in playing with my pet rabbit. Now I want to repay that favour by encouraging as many women and young girls into racing as possible. It's not about how fast you are right now, it's about how fast you could be. I'm stoked to be working with the British Downhill Series because it's at the heart of what makes UK mountain biking so awesome. We all came up through the ranks of the BDS, but when I started out there were no young girls racing, I remember being stood on the junior women's podium on my own! I still love to ride the Series today, and I can honestly say that some of my favourite weekends of the last couple of years have been in spent in the sunshine and chilled atmosphere of the BDS! - Rachel Atherton, GT Factory Racing

For press release. Copyright Atherton Racing.

bigquotesI'm going to sponsor a new Junior Women's category which this year will cover Junior, Youth and Juvenile Women at the British Downhill Series, the aim is to explode the number of entrants in this category so that that next year Si Paton will have to run three separate races, like in the Junior Mens! I remember so clearly racing on my own as a Junior and comparing my times to Elite Women and how I couldn't wait to race Elite so I'd have some real racing. I'm determined that this generation of girl riders will have stiff competition from the get go. I can't wait to get started on this, the track walks are going to be amazing! I hope that more of the Elite Women will join me so we can demonstrate some lines and hopefully give some useful advice. I've seen before how tweaking someone's bike set up can improve their ride so I'm excited to put that into a race situation for these girls. At the wet and gnarly Llangollen race last year, a girl was trying to ride down with 32 PSI in her tyres... I want to be available for moments like that when someone just might not be 100% sure if they are running the easiest set-up. - Rachel Atherton, GT Factory Racing

For press release. Copyright Atherton Racing.

bigquotesHats off to Rachel for her vision and creativity to create this opportunity. The success of the British girls smashing last year's Worlds Championships with those top three results has had a direct impact on the number of women racing the 2015 BDS, with entries doubling in number. We welcome all female athletes and hope that the BDS - with Rachel's backing, support and guidance - will be that stepping stone for British women racing World Cups and beyond, chasing those gold medals! - Si Paton, Director, British Downhill Series

Watch out for more news and more opportunities to get involved on Pinkbike.

MENTIONS: @si-paton, @GTBicycles


  • 127 1
 f*cking brilliant. Well done Rachel. Giving it back to the sport. ^5's all round.
  • 83 3
 32 psi in my minion i don't care about your opinion!
  • 62 1
 Who says Germans don't have a sense of humour
  • 3 30
flag peanutbuter (Mar 4, 2015 at 4:06) (Below Threshold)
 @Ben-P its 30 psi
  • 27 0
 @peanutbuter that went right over your head didn't it?
  • 4 21
flag peanutbuter (Mar 4, 2015 at 5:12) (Below Threshold)
  • 16 0
 and again, clearly.
  • 59 2
 haha I just got it im such a dick Smile
  • 17 1
 At Llangollen in the mud you want sub 20psi and a set of cut down mud tyres on.
  • 15 0
 Wow, nothing else to say but well done Rach
  • 7 0
 Awesome news! Completely backs my opinion about female riding in the UK last October where I held up Rachel as a torch bearer for the womans cycling scene here in the UK.


That group of female World class riders doubling female entrants overnight isn't something to be sniffed at, especially when it was as simple as having a competitive pack. Imagine what's gonna happen now the little en's get track walked by Rachel herself, I wouldn't want to let her down!!
  • 10 0
 +1,000 props Rachel... great news.
  • 9 1
 More interested playing with my rabbit! Lol fair play though. The whole family are a great inspiration for all aspects of aggressive mountain biking.
  • 8 2
 Rachel, if you don't mind me asking.... Normally any post involving a woman on pinkbike immeditaly turns to trashy comments, marriage proposals, and plenty more. I notice this is minimal when they are about you. Is is the fact that you would beat almost any guy here on any track? Is it that you are more respected than others? Is it the big brothers by your side scaring off the boys? Or is it respect for the content of the article? Glad to see everyone is behaving today, but how do we keep that up?
  • 9 0
 What a great plan.well done Rachel and all involved.
  • 5 0
 Totally rad! Such a great time to be a female in the sport - I see more and more girls getting on the bike these days. Mud Life
  • 4 1
 "At the wet and gnarly Llangollen race last year, a girl was trying to ride down with 32 PSI in her tyres... I want to be available for moments like that when someone just might not be 100% sure if they are running the easiest set-up". - Rachel Atherton, GT Factory Racing

This is a timeless quote!
  • 4 0
 So f*cking rad. Psyched to see women investing in the sport and planning on a future for other racers! Smile
  • 4 0
 Excellent news, it's all good, nice one Rachel
  • 4 0
 Brilliant idea and really hope it gets more females into racing.
  • 3 0
 Good work Rachel, great spirit
  • 1 0
 Absolutely awesome news.. Exactly what's needed! Well done Rachel.. Let's hope to see a much bigger junior girls field at the BDS races this year!! Fantastic!!
  • 1 0
 This is sick, I'd love to ride downhill but the investment is super steep. Simply cannot afford it, so I'll stick to bmx for a bit Frown
  • 3 0
 Bloody good show Ms. Atherton!
  • 4 0
 she is fucking amazing
  • 3 0
 That's called putting your money where your mouth is. Good Job, Rach.
  • 1 0
 This is why mountain biking is such an awesome sport. For a pro to do something like this, it just gets me even more stoked on our sport!
  • 1 1
 Headline: "Rachel is sponsoring the series"...but after reading the article, seems like shimano, ixs and Conti are doing the sponsoring?? Am I wrong? Maybe a different headline needed.
  • 3 1
 Is 32psi too much or too little?
  • 6 1
 For the front wheel too much in almost any condition. On a fully also too much on the rear but for a hardore hardtail you might be forced to go much higher on the rear wheel.
  • 6 0
 Too much. Mid 20's front late 20's rear is the ball park to start. Depending on how much you weigh,terrain and speed. But I'd suggest those numbers to you're average built rider.
  • 3 0
 Seeing as it was a lass (im going to stereotype here and say they all weigh less than the average bloke) I can only assume she weighs a lot less than me and should be running around 20psi
  • 3 0
 Yes and considdering Rachel said " At the wet and gnarly Llangollen race" and it was a girl you could even considder 20/24 psi
Also very important question if you have real dualply Dh tyrs or regular ones
  • 2 0
 Being a great big fat knacker, 32 is about on the money for me.
  • 2 0
 Love the Rach!! That should get some newbies stoked to race. Legend!
  • 2 1
 I run 60 psi in my tires and I'm good.
  • 1 0
 only 60?
  • 1 0
 But why is her steering wheel on the left side?? :-)
  • 3 3
 This chick is getting prettier the older she gets
  • 1 0
 Hurrah Rachel
  • 1 2
 Sexiest women alive.
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