The world's largest women's mountain bike race, Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton, returned for its 3rd year this weekend but with a twist: a new venue making for a longer and new, improved track.

After being held on the outskirts of Edinburgh previously, the Foxhunt chose a new location in the heart of the Eden Valley that could accommodate over 230 riders. With its rolling hills, endless trails and breathtaking backdrops, Cumbria is a destination hotspot for UK mountain biking and is by no means short on space, which makes it the perfect venue to hold such a number of riders.

With the opportunity to create a fresh, new and exciting course came the opportunity to create more chalenging features. Speaking of the new location and course prior to the event, Rachel Atherton said: “This new course is in a gorgeous location and it’s set to challenge the racers with some technical features - including switchbacks, some steep and rocky terrain, and multiple line choices for maximum over-taking! I can’t wait.”

The event is not solely about the racing, however, it's also about strengthening ties between women in the cycling community. It's an event in many women mountain-bikers calendar not to be missed, and there was no less of a sense of anticipation this year as all the tickets were sold out within 8 hours of release. The event brings together women from all over the country and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the highly experienced rider and also the newcomer. It depicts how relaxed and welcoming the mtb community is, whether you're a man or woman, and is the perfect place to meet up and relax with friends and make new ones.

Saturday morning began with a rider briefing and unfortunately the weather wasn't on the riders' side and the uplifts were cancelled, but that certainly did not dampen their spirits. The women pushed on through, hike a biking, through the mud and grass, with friends by their side to ease the push.

The majority of women had not seen the course, only the preview that Rachel had posted only hours before, meaning that many had not prepared for the terrain and conditions they would soon face.


The low morning fog on the valley below.
The low morning fog in the valley below.
Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
Spirits were high and the riders were ready and raring to go for practice.


The mud the riders had to walk to through to get to the warm teepee was worse than what was on the track
The mud the riders had to walk through to get to the warm teepee was worse than what was on the track.

With the riders signed on and number boards and jerseys at the ready it was time to get the bikes ready.
With the riders signed on and number boards and jerseys at the ready, it was time to get the bikes prepped.
Taking a little breather on the climb whilst heading up for practice.
Taking a little breather on the climb whilst heading up for practice.

Hike-a-bike was a favoured option among many as they scaled the mountain while the uplift s were out of action.
As the uplift struggled, hike-a-biking was the favoured option among many as they scaled the mountain.

Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
Taking the buggies to the top was a sketchy experience. The buggies managed to take some bikes to the top so that the women didn't have to push.

Friend are for making sure you re safe and ready to go before hurling yourself down a mountain.
Friends are for making sure you're safe and ready to go before hurling yourself down a mountain.
Grab a quick selfie before practice and make sure to get the scenery in
Grab a quick selfie before practice and make sure to get the scenery in!

The Eden Valley provided some stunning backdrops but the riders were too preoccupied to keep rubber side down than to take in the scenery.
The Eden Valley provided some stunning backdrops, but the riders were too preoccupied in keeping the rubber side down than taking in the scenery.

Rachel giving some riding tips to the girls during practice.
Rachel gave some riding tips to the girls during practice.

The sharpest and rockiest corner on the track leading into a trail merger made the race interesting.
The sharpest and rockiest corner on the track leading into a trail merger made the race interesting.

Keeping rubber side down was a tough task on this A line.
Keeping rubber side down was a tough task on this 'A' line.

De-clogging slick tyres after skidding down the mountain.
De-clogging slick tyres after skidding down the mountain.
The best way to the top albeit rather sketchy.
With the Jeeps out of action, this was the best way to the top, albeit rather sketchy.

Safe to say there was quite a queue for the Bike wash after practice day in the rain.
Safe to say, there was quite a queue for the bike wash after practice day in the rain.

Before they knew it, race day was upon them, and the sun shone through the morning fog to make a bright start to the day. The grass was glistening with the early morning dew and the uplift Jeeps were ready to give the climb another go. As race practice started, the tensions rose for the many that had not experienced race nerves before.

The track had dried out over night making the dirt grippier for the riders. This was a welcome change, as the slick conditions the previous day made for many crashes, especially on the off-camber sections. Despite the increased grip a "foot out, flat out" approach would have to be taken in order to make any overtakes and to beat Rachel. But the hardest part that the riders had yet to face was seeing if they could hold their lines from practice when accompanied by hundreds of other riders come race time.

Preparing for the day ahead riders took some time to prepare at the start of practice after the push up.
Preparing for the race ahead, riders took some time to appreciate the views before the race.

Race day fog and clouds over the Eden Valley before the sun broke through.
The early morning fog over the Eden Valley before the sun broke through.
Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
The organisers setting up the finish area.

The sun trying desperately to break through the morning fog.
The Jeeps were back up and running ready for the race.
A jeep Rubicon in it s natural habitat.
The adrenaline running in the finish area was high as the girls were relieved to have survived.

Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
Once the race had started even those who felt no need for competition prior were suddenly hunting for every overtake.

Despite being the B line it did not prevent any less crashes due to the off camber straight the girls had to prepare for out of turning.
Despite being the 'B' line, it did not prevent any less crashes due to the off camber straight the girls had to prepare for.

Race day over 80 women raced down the mountain tackling the off camber steep turns together.
Race day! Over 180 women raced down the mountain, tackling the off camber, steep turns together.

Rachel hunting down the riders unfortunately picking up a puncture on her way down but it didn t stop her loving the race
Rachel hunting down the riders, unfortunately picking up a puncture on her way down, but it didn't stop her loving the race!

Rachel smashing through one of the steepest and off camber parts of the track.
Rachel smashing through one of the steepest and off camber parts of the track.

Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
The Foxhunt 2016 winner Rosie Holdsworth making her way down the track ahead of the carnage that followed.

As partners and friends waited in the finish line the riders pumping with adrenaline shared their experience of the race.
As partners and friends waited in the finish line, the riders, pumping with adrenaline, shared their experience of the race.
As with every MTB or outdoors event dogs come along and are the best spectators.
As with every MTB or outdoors event, dogs come along and are the best spectators.

Rachel wasn t the only one to get a flat on the way down as others were stung by the sharp rocks.
Rachel wasn't the only one to get a flat on the way down as others were stung by the sharp rocks.
Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
The adrenaline running in the finish area was high as the girls were relieved to have survived...

Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton 2016
Rachel took a moment off the podium to do a little interview with winner Rosie Holdsworth.

Results:
1st Rosie Holdsworth
2nd Roslynn Newman
3rd Rosy Monaghan

Find the full results here.

See you next year!


MENTIONS: @redbullbike / @saskiaa




32 Comments

  • + 67
 That's a whole lotta Rosie...Rosy, Roslyn on the podium.
  • + 2
 Niner should've supplied a ROS9 for the winner.
  • + 37
 4th - Rosy Cheeks.......... ..........I'll let myself out.
  • + 19
 230+ female riders showing for a DH race - this has to have something to do with why the UK has so many fast women DH racers. Not for nothing but I can't image any DH race in the states where you's actual get 230 females racing
  • + 7
 Yeah same here, wed be lucky if we had 240 across all of aus. We did a few things in my last state that increased women's participation at state dh, from only 2 per event to normally 10-14 and still.growing. Its great having more women racers - they bring a great attitude and vibe to the whole weekend.
  • + 1
 When you come outta the womb with 2 wheels, that tends to happen.
  • + 13
 Massive logjam of riders = Redbull Beaverdam 200.
  • + 9
 New soft roader gets defeated by some finest English mud?!?!
  • + 1
 health and safety was worried someone would have to much fun and have a heart attack Smile
  • + 2
 I was thinking the same but if that little buggy struggled it must have been insanely slippery
  • + 5
 Meanwhile a fleet of Land Rovers hauled us up a muddy hill no problem at a Pearce DH event Wink
  • + 2
 @s100mphplus: how many didn't make it back down due to electrical issues? Smile
  • + 2
 Hey that's an Argo Avenger 8x8!! They're made in my hometown, New Hamburg, ON. I worked on the assembly line a couple years, absolutely awesome vehicles. They get so much crap for not being fast like quads, but they're in another league when it comes to offload capability, not to mention being AMPHIBIOUS! Smile
  • + 1
 Just put 12 psi on the tires, and it will climb anything!
  • + 5
 All of my girlfriends won? How strange...
  • + 4
 Slightly biased towards Rosies?
  • + 1
 A great job done by all girls. A quick heads up, Drift Girls coaching week in Morzine this year will be the 22nd July. www.driftriding.co.uk
  • + 2
 Where is Rose DeWitt Bukater? She came after Jack
  • + 2
 sick! looks awesome!
  • + 0
 I wonder if she yelled "Perfect Season!" every time she overtook a rider?
  • + 14
 No, she yelled "Thank you" "Hi" "Good on you girl" "Thanks for coming" "You're doing brilliantly"
All the shite she gets because lots of people aren't fans of Gee, she's such a great ambassador for the sport.
  • - 12
flag NicoBoshoff (Oct 3, 2016 at 22:55) (Below Threshold)
 @freerideglory: Nah, she manages to come across as arrogant and braggy all by her lonesome (for reference see Instagram). I actually like Gee a lot.
  • + 11
 @NicoBoshoff: Arrogant and braggy, or proud of her achievements? Mate she's had a perfect season, and 15 consecutive victories. Think she has bragging rights to be perfectly honest.
  • + 5
 @freerideglory: exactly! I folow her on IG and she ain't any of those things. Dunno what she's like in private, but everything I've seen of her shows her to be a down to earth, friendly, and totally committed to riding. If she was any of those things I doubt she'd be out there doing events like these.
  • + 6
 @BorisBC35 @NicoBoshoff : I was at the fox hunt with the Mrs, she wasn't riding but we were supporting a mate, we went into the finish Paddock and Rachel was there talking to the women about how their run went, sharing experiences and was thanking everyone for coming, then came over to us and gave our puppy a cuddle. One thing she isn't is a bigot.
  • + 1
 @freerideglory: Yeah look, she's a talent we won't see again soon and I'm definitely not suggesting otherwise. She has every right to be whatever she wants to be. And perhaps my own cultural reference is influencing my assessment of her (arrogance in the Afrikaner community is perhaps not arrogance in the British - we just don't talk about our achievements).

I just reached a point where after 4 consecutive posts of "Oh wow look at this signpost which confirms that I won every race this year" on IG I wanted to reply "Yeah, we heard you the first 100 times".
  • + 2
 @NicoBoshoff: don't like it then don't follow her
  • + 0
 Got some rosy palms reading about all the Rosies?
  • + 10
 Rach recommended not to take the full-on DH bike for this race, it was not meant to be a DH race anyway, just a simple(ish)trail run with the main focus on the chase and not the race, plus it was slippy and windy and peddly - either way, not a DH race, and DH bikes not recommended by the best racer int the world - fun in the "sun" .. and mud Smile
  • - 3
 when will they do a Red Bull Pork Hunt?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.048249
Mobile Version of Website