Rachel Atherton Injured - Cairns DH World Champs 2017

Sep 8, 2017
by Simon Paton  
2017 UCI World Championships Photo by Sven Martin

Rachel is part of the British Cycling team and has been enjoying the challenges of the dusty Cairns track in practice this week. As 5X World Champion including the 2015 and 2016 titles, Rachel was a hot favourite for this year’s race. But in her timed training run this morning she caught her hand on a bank, she was spat over the bars and landed hard on her shoulder. X-rays have confirmed a fracture to her left clavicle. The blow is particularly hard as Rachel has battled to return to fitness this season after dislocating her shoulder at Fort William World Cup in June. Rachel said "I was feeling good today, back to my old self, riding strongly and super-confident as I attacked my timed training run. I’m absolutely devastated that the weekend has ended like this but I’ll be cheering on the rest of the British team with all of my heart."

2017 UCI World Championships Photo by Sven Martin


bigquotesI was feeling good today, back to my old self, riding strongly and super-confident as I attacked my timed training run. I’m absolutely devastated that the weekend has ended like this but I’ll be cheering on the rest of the British team with all of my heart.Rachel Atherton


Iain Dyer, head coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said "As the current rainbow jersey holder, it must be very disappointing for Rachel to be forced to withdraw from these World Championships though injury. On behalf of the Great Britain Cycling Team, I would like to wish Rachel a quick recovery and we look forward to seeing her back to full strength ready for the new season."

Pictures by Sven Martin.


2017 UCI World Championships Photo by Sven Martin


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150 Comments

  • + 325
 Why was there a bank in the bush anyway? Damn big corporates ruining it for everyone again.
  • + 165
 They kinda embellished on the description, as it wasn't a 'bank'. It was just an ATM machine
  • + 96
 @YoKev: bloody Auromatic Teller Machine machines. Probably caught her bars on the superfluous acronym
  • + 40
 Support your local credit unions! Big banks are killing the sport! In all honesty though, I hope she heals up good and strong for next season! It's always a shame to see a rider down and out.
  • + 40
 That's what happen when HSBC takes over sponsorship of British Cycling.
  • + 15
 Darn Aussie banks. In the news for money laundering, and now this.
  • + 17
 It's trumps fault.
  • + 1
 Had to be a bank. The maximum withdrawal I cane make from an Auromatic Teller Machine machine is $300 and World Champs is way more than that.
  • + 8
 @Yuley95: "Superfluous Acronym" is an amazing album name.
  • + 3
 @LA-Law: or Redundant Repetitive Unnecessary Tautological Initialism
  • + 4
 @DarrellW: aka RRUTI Initialism. Should you roll the Rs if you say it out loud?
  • - 1
 Probably Wells Fargo (American Bank). They didn't want to see the British win. The American or French riders...their ok with. Hehehe
  • + 4
 First of all, all the creatures in Aus want to kill you. Now the banks are getting in on that too.
  • + 10
 A dingo broke her shoulder.
  • + 11
 It must have been those excessive overdrift fees that took her down!
  • + 3
 Is this a golden time to shill.....




....BUY BITCOIN / ETHEREUM!
  • + 1
 Haha
  • + 2
 @Yuley95: It's actually not an acronym - it's an initialism. Yes, I'll....I'll show myself out.
  • + 65
 This not only sucks for Rachel, but whoever ultimately wins the rainbow jersey. Like Tahnee said after Ft. Bill, it felt great to win but she didn't beat everybody. Her second win was sweeter than the first, because she beat Rachel to do it. Now I'm not saying this in anyway taints anybody's upcoming win, I don't believe that at all. I'm referring to the their feelings. I hope they don't downgrade their accomplishement because Rach isn't racing. There are still some kick ass girls, and I think Tahnee is gonna take it with or without Rachel there anyway. I just hope this "isn't quite as sweet" feeling stays way from this one.
  • + 91
 Well, staying healthy during training on the same track is also kinda a skill and the road to success. So she shoulnd't underestimate her result only because another rider is missing. Anyway, get well and stay healthy Rachel!
  • + 15
 Tahnee will rival with Tracey, which knows this track better than anyone else and Myriam Nicole, which won the World Cup overall. I think they all will be fine if they win Big Grin
  • + 12
 I think it's unfair to dismiss Myriam Nicole. She's been coming back really strongly from injury-prone seasons. Tahnee still has a real battle to beat Myriam and Tracy
  • + 25
 See your point but you can look at it another way:

the trade off with racing is to push yourself to your limit without crashing.

Whoever wins this weekend wins fair and square - as they won't have gone too fast for their own ability.... Its a fine line
  • + 7
 @Richt2000: Agree. The OP has missed the point. All part of the game, and whoever wins, is the REAL winner.
  • + 7
 It's not like beating Rachel this year would be the same as beating her last year so from that perspective having her in the race while recovering from injury or out due to injury is not much different.
  • + 5
 Winning the first race that Rachel missed would have felt hollow because she was so dominant beforehand. Now that she had returned to racing and had proven to be beatable, it will be a tiny asterisk at most--even if Rachel wasn't 100% recovered from the separation. That's my take, at least. I feel bad for Rachel--another tough break. She'll be glad to put 2017 behind her.
  • + 4
 everyone came to race and Rachel broke her self so infact Tahnee has already beat he. Rachel shouldn't be racing anyways, she hasn't even given the wing a chance to heal properly..
  • + 7
 Minnaar said the same thing at the Gwinn tire blowout. And Gwinn said the same thing of the last run for Minnaar. Racers at the top want to beat the racers at the top. Bummer she's not racing. COME BACK IN FULL FORCE 2018 AND GET THE TITLES BACK!
  • + 3
 Good discussion. I'm glad I originally posted this. I like the support for the NEW World Champion, whoever she may be.
  • + 1
 @ccolagio: the last time Atherton was down there she got real sick and struggled the rest of the season.... then she won like 10+ straight...repeat of this in the making?
  • + 3
 @scotttherider: im a believer in the only person that can beat rachel is racheal. whether be by her being ill or injured or a mechanical - i haven't been following her career forever, but as of recent, i don't recall her loosing any races where she was at or near 100%. so i fully expect this to happen!
  • + 2
 You said taints. Giggity.
  • + 0
 Ha you said taints
  • + 3
 @ccolagio: agreed...RA stands alone when she is at 100%...no one wants to come out and say it, but it's the truth
  • + 58
 心疼女神
  • + 19
 Nicely put! (Had to hit Google translate for this :-P )
  • + 6
 That's the most work i've ever done for a PB comment haaa
  • + 5
 I'll save the work for someone else:

Distressed goddess

Source: Google Translate
  • + 2
 I'm a vegan and I'm also really fluent in Mandarin so I didn't need to use Google Translate.
  • + 1
 @Jack-McLovin: But are you into crossfit? I'm guessing not, or you would've shoehorned that into your comment too.
  • + 2
 @bhd13: I'm joking bro! I have been to one crossfit session in my life though... A big mistake!!
  • + 25
 Poor Rachel, get well soon.
  • + 16
 What a bummer...
Right now, where her shoulder injury was nearly healed up. Frown
  • + 13
 A wise man once told me " To finish first, you must first finish"

There is no coulda, shoulda, woulda won. It's all on the line at this level.

It sucks to have a top contender out due to an injury, but that's the nature of racing in extreme sports.
  • + 1
 You can't win a race if you don't race.
  • + 2
 You got to be in it to win it
  • + 1
 @ale50ale I see that written incorrectly most times. That's for doing it right.
  • - 1
 If you aint first your last...right?!
  • + 2
 @cgdibble: *you're*
  • + 2
 @rokboy: haha yes, just trying to capture the true ricky-bobby vibe.
  • + 18
 F***
  • + 13
 Double F*ck....twice in a season
  • + 16
 No! whyyyy. Gutted for her! That's awful, same shoulder too!
  • + 8
 Get well soon Rach. So you've had a shitty year, take some time out, have a holiday in the hot sun away from the bike and all the stresses. Come back next year fully charged and take it easy - you've got nothing to prove.
  • + 4
 Oh shit, poor Rachel! Yes I do love to see the other ladies get great results too but more than anything I love to see them compete at the top of their game. All fit, healthy and on a functional bike too. She's had her fair share of injuries in the past that have ruined complete seasons for her. And she's proven to be able to bounce back as we know. Heal up, keep being the supportive and positive person you've always shown to be and you'll be back at the top next season.
  • + 6
 What a spoiled season for Rachel. Hope she'll be able to put this behind her to start 2018 stronger than ever !
  • + 8
 Healing vibes Rachel
  • + 2
 I'm curious, does anyone know how many operations Rachel has had to date from injuries? I remember in 09 she hit a pickup truck head on road riding. Her body has taken a lot of punishment for someone as young as her and she keeps on coming like the terminator "I'll be back" She's one bad ass M'Fer, I wouldn't mess with her, no no no...
  • + 5
 Rachel and myself have an awkwardly identical timing when it comes to injuries. Not amused.
  • + 3
 Gute Besserung!
  • + 5
 The queen is gone, long live the queen. ????
  • + 11
 The Queen is not gone. She will be back riding from the bitter ashes of 2017 to soar to ever greater glory in 2018.
  • + 3
 @fattyheadshok:

Exactly, just like when she had a shit 2014 because of her glandular fever (The year Manon won everything) and then she came back in 2015 and, well, we all know what happened then!
  • + 4
 Shame - hope this years winner is not labelled as winning worlds in 'the year Rach was injured'.
  • + 1
 Rachel has seen several seasons ruined through injury. And too often it was shoulder related, if I recall correctly. The times she was fit, she's been quite dominant. None of these years anyone took anything away from the crowned champion that year.
  • + 4
 what a shame. best of rehab for her. you will be miss Rachel.
  • + 1
 Damn, i feel her pain. I've been struck by the injury bug too much over the past few years. Seems like whenever I get healthy and strong I get beaten down again. 2018 Goals: Race a full season, stay injury free.
  • + 4
 Unlucky Rachel. Very sorry to hear that. Get well soon!
  • + 0
 Heal up soon Rachel! Did mine 3 weeks ago. Top tip on recovery! Skimmed milk apparently has more calcium content.
  • + 2
 Wishing you a speedy recovery over the winter months. You'll definitely come back from this - just look what Miriam has achieved this year
  • + 4
 The only thing that matters in life is how much you love.
  • + 4
 Not having the best luck this year, gutted rach.
  • + 4
 yeah Hard season Heal up well.
  • + 1
 What a bummer, shoulder and now this. I hope when she heals she finds her confidence and gets back up to speed. 2 injuries in a row are tough for everyone to come back from to their previous form.
  • + 4
 Damn it. Get well soon rach
  • + 2
 Super drag Rach! Was pulling those stripes for you. Bummer and a half. Get well soon and come back strong next season. PLEASE! Lol
  • + 1
 Well that's crushing. Darn. Two insane injuries in one year. Darn. I wish I could come up with a way to spin this one positively.
  • + 4
 Sending healing vibes
  • + 3
 Pity! Rachel is so cool to watch.
  • + 1
 Sorry to hear this. When you push hard and are finding the limits there are bound to be streaks of bad luck. Hope you come back and are stronger than ever Rachel!
  • - 1
 I my humble opinion this all started at the Fort William BDS, and she unknowingly stepped on her own mojo. We all know at this level of any sport, especially DH biking, it is all a mental game. Any rider in the top 10 can win if they believe they can win, truly and without doubt, know that they can win. All the greats have this trait and when Gee crashed at Fort Bill she pulled out of a race she had done every year, and won the last three years in a row. She broke the flow and missed a mental jump that brought doubt into the picture for her, things all went wrong after that change in her pace. I believe Tahnee has captured that elusive confidence, so watch for her to win this year.
  • + 1
 From the perfect season to a prick of a season... good luck with the recovery
  • + 2
 Only Rachel can stop Rachel. Heal up soon!
  • + 1
 SUPER. bummer. Rachel you are a legend and I am sure inspire you fellow shredders to shred extra hard in your honor.
  • + 1
 So shit would have been a great race with her in it .... plus side some one new will be in the strips
  • + 1
 You are made of steel girl!!
  • + 1
 fuck this girl just cant get a break. hope she heals fast.
  • + 1
 I wonder what trail she was riding ? Couldn't be the bobsled course.
  • + 1
 What do you mean? She crashed during timed training
  • + 1
 @ORTOGONAL555: I think that you missed the sarcasm in his comment. Everyone said the course isn't a proper DH track and is too mellow and more like a bobsled track.

Surely one of the worlds best couldn't crash on such an easy course.
  • + 1
 Damn, brutal season for Rach overall. Heal up quick.
  • + 1
 This sucks, get well soon Rach.
  • + 1
 Hang in there Rachel, you're a champ!
  • + 2
 Hard season ending
  • + 1
 Get well sooooon Shame ducktape can not fix everything
  • + 17
 You need to go back to school my friend. EVERYONE should know that if you can't fix it with duck tape you aren't using enough duck tape.
  • + 3
 @bigtim: Was about to reply the same
  • + 7
 @bigtim: or you could try switching to duct tape to see if that works
  • + 3
 @wpplayer18: nah ducktape is the one to use, maybe a euro brand?
That gorilla duct tape garbage can stay back in America
  • + 1
 @yeti-monster: Whoa, watch yourself there, buddy. We don't want to go start WW3. Everything America produces is the best*.

*Except for Trump, Coors Light, and like, tons of other things, too. But definitely not Gorilla Tape
  • + 2
 why tho
  • + 2
 what a bummer
  • + 1
 Yikes Eek this has not been a good year for Rachel Frown
  • + 1
 Sucks for Rachel, but maybe Mik and Tracy can take win together!
  • + 1
 dang heal up quick, been a tough year for her with injuries
  • + 1
 Tough break Rachel. Swift healing
  • + 0
 Rachael you been riding that 29er again haven't you?
  • + 1
 get well soon Frown
  • + 0
 Opened the door for Seagrave FTW! Heal up Rachel, you will be missed.
  • - 3
 Tahnee beat Rachel by a good margin at the last two races (Rachel came in 4th and 5th). I would say Nicole or Tracey are more of a threat than Rachel.
  • + 2
 @charmingbob: Ay but I bet she was holding back to save herself for the Champs. She said a day or two ago that she was back riding like her old self again and was feeling confident for the race. Just sucks this had to happen...
  • + 0
 I still think she'll retire this year, hopefully not. But.......
  • + 0
 You know i had those thoughts, after she was interviewed saying she would never have another perfect season like last year, it almost sounded like she thought she had peaked. But she is still top of her game I can't see her quitting just yet.
  • + 4
 @psyickphuk: I saw here interview with Rob Warner, even then I got the feeling she wasn't as fully into it as she has been. Now this new injury may just seal it for her, nothing like a couple of good injuries to make you stop and think about a future (in any walk of life). Think Manon felt the same after 2 big smashes, once your heads in that place, it's tough to wanna carry on. Besides she's got her academy and possibly some Enduro events, plus her fox hunt event too. She would be missed on the WC scene, but life goes on and the success she's had over the years speaks for itself.
Hey I might be wrong and she'll come back even better, we'll see. Good luck Rach' for the future!!
  • + 3
 @b4uwereborn: It's only a fractured collarbone?
  • + 1
 @hexhamstu: Maybe so, but it won't help if she's already got doubts. As I said hopefully i'm wrong and she'll be back;
  • + 3
 Yeah thats her retiring
  • + 1
 @savmeister: Yep she's done. Her shoulders are destroyed.
  • + 3
 I think she probalby should before she completely wrecks her body. I would hate her to try and do 1 more season that then causes her to not be able to do whatever she wants to post racing with the the rest of her life
  • + 3
 Saw her ripping around CyB a few weekends ago with her dog in tow. Same weekend as the last round of the BDS. Wouldn't be surprised if she made the move to enduro.
  • + 0
 @chrismac70, @jclnv Seems like you guys probably know what's best for her. I'm sure you're both qualified. Yeesh.
  • + 0
 @tinfoil: At least we care for her future wellbeing. You just want to put her through hell year after year for your own selfish enjoyment.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: Definitely didn't say that did I? lol

I'm just 100% certain you have no idea whether her shoulder is "destroyed" or not. I assume several medical professionals in conjunction with Rachel herself would make that call. It seems bizarre that you, some faceless pleb on the internet would feel qualified to make such a statement.
  • + 1
 @tinfoil: Yes let's hope that's what happens and she doesn't get pressured to carry on by the selfish Pinkbike mafia.
  • + 1
 @tinfoil: I'm looking at it with the view that, she might just 'think' a bit more about the implications that injuries have on your mental state. When you ride/ race at the top level, everything has to be 100%. We're all invincible until we have a big off, let alone 2 or 3. This does have an effect on how you look at your sport, knowing from personal experience im always a bit nervous about riding after injury. Plus her age and what she's already achieved, does she really need to be putting herself through it all again.
We all know how good a rider she is, but even the best will look at their situation at some point and think, do I need to keep risking it every week?
  • + 1
 @jclnv: the one thing I think we can all agree on, is that we're sure she'll make the right decision regarding her future. And we all wish her the very best, seen a few times in person, very friendly always got time to chat and have her picture taken. Awesome talent on a bike, a great ambassador for the sport and women in sport.
Good luck Rache;
  • + 1
 @b4uwereborn: Her age? Is 30 really that old now a days?
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: No not really, i'm still riding at nearly 51. It's the injuries, surely they're gonna play on her mind a bit. I along with many others on here can only speculate on what she'll do next.
Like I said before hopefully she'll carry on;
  • + 1
 Damn it.
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