Reigning World Champion and World Cup Overall winner, Rachel Atherton has announced her continuing sponsorship of the Junior Women’s Categories at the British Downhill Series. Rachel, Sumayyah, Maya and Rona.
Once again the sponsorship will be very practical, with riders offered the chance to trade their winners’ cheques for prizes from Rachel’s sponsors, often equivalent to twice or three times the value of the cheque.
| I love it that we have been able to give girls GoPros, brake sets and pedals from Shimano, helmets from Bell, knee pads from IXS, goggles from Oakley, everyone has been so awesome in supporting this idea! This year I'm excited that we'll have the chance to work with Trek and Bontrager for the first time, I remember when I started racing how hard it was sometimes to get together the things that I needed, I'm sure that Gee used to race in rollerblade pads! I see so many girls hampered in their racing performance by not having the correct kit or set-up but over the last year I think we've made a real difference. - Rachel Atherton|
Rachel’s World Cup mechanic, Joe will be on hand again to advise about set-ups and new for this year Rachel will offer an accompanied 'First ride' of the track.
|I never forget the advantage that having two big brothers who raced gave me, now I want to repay that favour. If I can make it easier for one girl to sign up for a race it will be awesome. I love it that I've got to know such a great group of girls and young women this year, watching them develop and to begin to fulfill their potential is massively rewarding, quite apart from the fact that some of my favourite weekends are spent in the relaxed atmosphere of a BDS! - Rachel Atherton|
Rachel’s World Cup commitments mean that she won’t race every round of the series but she stresses that her support for “her girls” is unwavering.
|I'll be there where I can, the relationship I have with many of these girls now transcends race day, I'll be watching them like a hawk! The level of skill and commitment these girls are showing has definitely increased over the last year and that has to be good for the sport as a whole, I'm so excited as we go into year two. - Rachel Atherton|Rona
|Having Rach sponsor the category last year has helped me improve massively, it goes far beyond what you'd expect from a race sponsorship, it feels like not only Rachel but the whole Athy Racing team have our backs. It's not only at the BDS, her encouragement and advice helped me to podium at my first World Cup in Fort William, the Junior Women are all so stoked to hear that Rach will be there for us through 2016. - Rona Strivens, Overall Winner of the Junior Women's Series in 2015|
|Rachel's vision and commitment to these young racers certainly paid dividends in 2015 and we are delighted that this initiative will continue into 2016. Entries are up again and we welcome all female athletes, I hope that the British Downhill Series and Rachel's unique input will be a stepping stone for more British women to seize World Cup success. - Si Paton, Director of the British Downhill Series|
Photos: Yasmeen Green and Laurence Crossman-Emms