Rachel Atherton wins BT Sport's Action Woman of the Year

Jan 26, 2014 at 3:15
by Fraktiv  
In a special edition of The Clare Balding Show on BT Sport, January 25th at 9pm, mountain biking’s very own Rachel Atherton was crowned BT Sport's Action Woman of the Year!

Please note, this video may not play outside the UK.

The award was designed to honour the sportswomen who have made the biggest impact and produced the most dynamic performance in this year of sporting success. The short-list of nominees saw Rachel pitted against nine extraordinary women already widely recognised for their exceptional contribution to their sports – such as tennis, football, athletics and swimming - and who have undoubtedly enjoyed far greater mainstream recognition than our own. Accepting the award on behalf of the entire mountain biking community, Rachel said:

bigquotesWow!! I'm absolutely gobsmacked to have won the first ever BT Sport Action Women Awards! The first thing I have got to say is a massive 'Thank You' to every single person who voted for me and our sport, allowing me to showcase what a jaw dropping sport downhill mountain biking is. This is a huge milestone in my career! The shortlist for this award was stacked with women who I personally take inspiration from, being considered alongside them means the world to me and gives me even more motivation for the coming race season! Thanks also has to go to all my fantastic sponsors and my AMAZING team and family, without whom I would be less than nothing. Of this I have no doubt. Adding this award to my World Titles goes a long way to saying 'Thank You' to all these people, because it's true that you really are only as good as the team around you. That team now includes everybody who voted in such a prestigious award, and the family of BT Sport, for making such a huge salute to the World of Women's Action Sports. Thanks Guys!

2013 UCI MTB World Championships Pitermaritzburg South Africa

Atherton Racing’s Team Director Dan Brown said:

bigquotesI'm sure that everybody will want to join me in congratulating Rachel. This fantastic award is well deserved and repayment for all of the tremendous hard work and super human effort that she put in for the entire 2013 season. As Rachel says, this accolade goes beyond being an award for one athlete. Mainstream recognition for our sport doesn't come around often and this award was won through the outpouring of support from an entire community. This one is for all of us.


  • 187 28
 wouldnt classify football as 'an action sport' more a 'pussy sport'
  • 40 110
flag dirttrailsociety (Jan 26, 2014 at 5:34) (Below Threshold)
 I don't play or watch football, but it is far from a pussy sport.
  • 47 3
 lol my bad, I thought you meant North American football.
  • 19 12
 Ahh, no that is a real sport Wink
  • 27 0
 only takes one ball, to play football...
  • 115 3
 Or to cheat in the tour de france
  • 6 1
 HAHAHA!! That was some funny stuff thank you hughsey321
  • 11 11
 YES nfl football is a real sport, soccer is a pussy sport, bunch of whiney ass shirt lifters
  • 9 4
 Biking requires 2 real balls, while football/soccer requires 1 inflatable ball
  • 34 1
 Still thing rugby players are the hardest bastards.
  • 3 8
flag pushingbroom (Jan 26, 2014 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 That video is a bad example of how much fun football is... Just over playing to the ref those players are. Not everything has to be about how tough you are. I hate hockey, but Gretzky never got into any fights or checks and yet he is one of sports all time greatest athletes.... which I would say is a huge accomplishment in a sport that brags about how tough it is. Soccer needs to bring back the good ol days of just flat out speed and precision of ball handling... ( We all like a good ball handling )
I love riding, its a sport all to its own. Same as when you play a good competitive match with your mates.
  • 6 5
 I don't know about any of you football advocates, but no man can hit nearly as hard, or scare me nearly as much as Rampage, X-Games or Crankworx. I don't care what form of football you advocate, I don't care how big or full of 'roids the players are. Action sports athletes that ride bikes are the gnarliest & rowdiest f*ckers out there, maybe along with base jumpers if you're just comparing ball size. I don't give a shit if Nathan Jones or Brock Lesnar wants the ball I'm holding, I would not feel the fear or be risking the consequences that the highest level slopestyle, DJ, trials & Rampage riders do. It's just not possible. Accidents can happen getting out of bed in the morning, but the risks here, are almost unmatched. No form of football can even come close. There's a reason why it's considered to be perfectly fine to run away from sweaty dudes with a ball in your hand while not wearing protection, even in an organized & official setting. It just ain't THAT dangerous. Note: DH doesn't scare me, not at all, it doesn't really fall into the same category, sorry ladies.
  • 8 0
 Well, on average there's only 11 minutes of play in an NFL game...so not exactly a lot of action or sport going on either. It's mostly commercials and players standing around. I still watch it though. Not really sure why, lol.
  • 4 0
 MTB is an Extreme sport. Football isn`t. They are both great sports in their own way like other extreme and non extreme sports.
  • 2 0
 @freeride-forever I was totally agreeing with your post until your last comment about DH. At least tell us where you have DH? That would probably be the reason for your opinion.
  • 2 0
 I play soccer(football) and ride MTB. Yes soccer isn't really actiony, but it is very physically demanding like most other action sports. Both are dangerous in they're own way. But, soccer is really demanding in the sense of you have to have a real good endurance when it comes to running. Bikes have to have a little more mental endurance than physical endurance, but you still have to be able to pedal for a while. That's why there are more people that are a little over weight in MTB than soccer. Plus it's fun watching people getting nailed in the nuts every once in a while. Soccer is a great training aid for MTB and MTB is a great training aid soccer. Just don't watch the pro soccer players, they're worse than kids when it comes to injuries. They are decent actors though.
  • 4 0
 Sorry guys but, just because you like a sport you dont have to be an ass. What is wrong with football? Liking one sport does´nt mean that all other sports are for pussies! I won´t call it an "action sport", but i does requires some skills and brain that MTB does´nt! Yeah, some of the pro footballers are pussies, but that does´nt mean everybody always are like that! Until a year ago i played youth football on the highest level. It´s my absolute favourite sport in this world, and would still be training like a mad all week both technical, physical and mentally. It requires some skills that MTB does´nt require. The only reason i´m Riding MTB instead playing football is because of a srious knee injury i got over a year ago. My physical said i probably would´nt be able to play football for a while (a looooong while Frown ) but he said i could ride a bike with no problems at all, and thats why i got into MTB. It does´nt mean football now is a "pussy sport". Why can´t we just love our own sport an respect other sports instead of bitching over different people and different things we do?
  • 2 5
 @NoINPO, The only reason you are riding MTB over playing football is because of a knee injury? Hahahahahaha. I understand people do things other than MTB. But playing football is straight up p*ssy. Hahaha, jokes on you. But again, you are riding bikes because of a knee injury. Hahahaha. What if you straight up and die riding your MTB. All the football faking in the world won't fake that result. But you are "really" bitching because you seem to be pretending that football is something close to the level of MTB in terms of danger. MTB rules and football players eat a D*ck.
  • 4 0
 Sorry @NoINPO, that last comment I made was not cool. I did not mean to laugh at you as I understand that football is very hard on the knee and ankle joints. And you are right about needing to respect all sports. I realized MTB does not always have to be so extreme either, hence it can be safe for your knee. Which I hope you a full and speedy recovery. But if a knee injury is the "only" reason you got into MTB, you may have got a blessing in disguise. Give your MTB more time, and it becomes harder and harder to appreciate other sports IMO.
  • 63 7
 "the video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country or location"
WTF! Do i live in NARNIA or what!?
  • 31 5
 Maybe, but it's more likely that you just don't live in the UK as is explained underneath the video.
  • 11 0
 If you're using Chrome there's an add-on called ZenMate that can change the perceived location of your computer to any country.
  • 10 0
 Living in Narnia would be pretty bad ass.
  • 2 0
 Aslan is coming
  • 26 2
 I voted for Rachel and I'm happy to see it didn't go to wasteSmile
Rach you're no. 1!
  • 11 1
 Hopefully people will see downhill is easily one of the most difficult and involved sports in the world. I had an argument with a mate, he was trying to tell me road riding was just as hard hahah. Fitness and tactics that's it no chance buddy downhill is leaps and bound ahead on the skill front. Can't deny both disciplines work 100% and require just as much dedication to get to the top of their fields. But at the core road bikes are a tool for mtb riders. Any mtb rider can ride a roady, not all roadies can ride mtbs. As soon as you go off road your skill range has to widen, the rider needs to be highly training is more areas to do well.

Sorry bit of a rant there. Good on ya rachel might have to start racing in the mens for a challenge.
  • 2 1
 Spot on. Roading is training for commuting.
  • 6 8
 not quite spot on, it's not hard to ride a granfondo or buy a 15 grand replica team sky pinarello and wear pretentious Assos clothing but to be a decent road racer you have to be very skilled, not all roadies look like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRKajY5GlyI (although way too many do), none of my downhill friends can corner anywhere near as fast as me and some of them can't even ride within 3 feet of me let alone bumping shoulders mid corner, I'm still a very good downhiller on the tech side of things and while I can say the skills involved aren't equal they definitely aren't far from each other... I can't really find a good Vincenzo Nibali video so this dudes vid might sum it up: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoffxOXjG0I although it doesn't really do it justice... as for the crashes I'd like to see a single one of you stay upright when a guy goes into your front wheel at 60km/h
  • 5 0
 To be at the elite of any sport requires skill and commitment. I would like to see some of these people ride their road bike onto the roof rack of their car like Peter Sagan .
  • 5 2
 Ok how about you come ride fort William amd if you nail it in under 5:30mins I will agree but until the what you are talking about is not only a totally different discipline but way harder than road or TT I ride slope, dh and tt and whilst my tt riding helps with fitness it doesn't help in any way when it comes to clearing 30ftor more. Rachel deserved it out right and why can't you just be happy that a different style of riding is getting more airtime and the win was by one of the best female riders of the last decade
  • 1 0
 I remember him doing that
  • 6 4
 @finnrambo....youre an arrogant fathead.
  • 1 0
 slight misunderstanding there, sorry about that, I'm incredibly happy for Rachel Atherton, I make it no secret that the Athertons are by far my favourite racers and I'm happy for downhill but I find it annoying how people can be ignorant dismissing road as something easy or something anyone can do, I doubt a downhiller can outdo Nibali or another good descender, they're simply very different skills, heading out on your road bike without racing or anything and calling it easy is like heading out on lower easy does it on whistler and saying downhill is easy, both disciplines deserve a lot of respect plain and simple, as for arrogant then you don't know me very well I may come across as arrogant at first but trust me I'm just another guy that has fun on all types of bikes, as for Sagan... oh man, I wish I had the video but watching him take the last corner at a canadian race (either alberta or quebec) and edge out another rider was amazing... he's the perfect role model for the sport, showing the fun of it all that is sometimes unseen
  • 1 0
 Finnrambo nicely redeemed I ride all sorts but I used to race tt at a high level and whilst you may be right on the black top on the sharp and muddy stuff I challenge any roadie to rail it faster its totally different. Yeah I can sprint harder and faster for longer because of tt but it didnt teach me squat about gaps and drops. But as long as you don't claim cx is the best of both worlds all is cools lol andthe race was quebec I think
  • 7 1
 Well done rachel, maybe now people will see mountainbiking as an actual sport not just a past time and it will get more televisual exposure the way cricket, football, athletics gets. If it wasnt for sky it would get nothing so good on u rachel
  • 4 0
 This is too awesome. Rach is paving an amazing path for mountain biking, both on and off the bike, and creating a future for the sport amongst more 'mainstream' sporting fans through good, old fashioned hard work and class. What a champ she is!!! Smile
  • 6 1
 Congratulations to Rachel, very well deserved... Top of the world in possibly the most extreme sport on the planet The extra coverage will bring good things for the sport
  • 6 0
 Congrats to Rach, well deserved. Shame they showed a clip of Dan at 1:32 tho!
  • 5 2
 I nominate Emily Batty for the "woman of the forever" award, even if she does ride XC. Wink That is just one awesome, sexy sexy, sexy f*ckin' chick!!!

Oh yeah & GJ Rachel.
  • 4 1
 People saying NFL isn't a pussy sport hang on a minute. they wear helmets and pads compared to our rugby league and rugby union players now there fucking hard.....well done Rachel flying that union flag high.
  • 2 0
 Yeah man ! bag on there jackgolfgti rugby toughest sport surely ! those guys are animal's and hard as fu#k !!!
  • 3 1
 Massive respect for winning this award....but in all honesty she was going to win with not much competition in her field. Rachel needs more riders like her to be challenged more imo
  • 2 0
 tracey mosely?
  • 4 1
 Triathlon an football are 'Action sports' ?

Well done though Rach, great exposure for MTB.
  • 1 0
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRKajY5GlyI tri makes for some funny shit
  • 3 0
 pffft! my gf managed to pedal to the end of the road without hardly falling off at all. hardly. where's her medal eh? EH?
  • 2 0
 then it is not cool:
"Please note, this video may not play outside the UK."

Bravo Rachel
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike campain gets a result!!!
  • 1 1
 Rachel definitely deserves it. HUGE congrats for the hard work and success during 2013.

On a side note, PB is Canadian and Ironically Canadians cannot even watch the video. I mean WTF ???
  • 1 0
 This video however, is not made by Canadians.
  • 2 1
 YEEEESSS !!! Now maybe we cen get rid of all the pathetic 'sports' like cricket and tennis and have our beloved downhill with more of a mainstream broadcasting
  • 1 0
 Yeah, my vote actually worked. Go democracy! Now it's time to get Rach on the shortlist for Damehood. Right after Steve Peat becomes a Knight.
  • 2 0
 Congratulations Rachel, well deserved indeed! Keep it up!!!
  • 1 0
 On top of the world she is! I expect her to reign Queen Supreme for some time now.
  • 1 0
 Congrats to Rachel, and the team. Nice to get some well-deserved mainstream recognition.
  • 1 0
 Well done Rachel, such a massive role model! Good luck for another epic year!
  • 2 1
 Rachel can ride, hands down, but I am really hoping Emmeline Ragot is gonna take overall this year! Pocket Rocket ftw! Smile
  • 1 0
 ZenMate app for Google Chrome works to view the video. takes 2 minutes to install.
  • 1 0
 nice one rach finally DH is getting some recognition and its all because of the athertons
  • 1 0
 football, a load of over paid tossers...i would like to see beckham do the rampage..
  • 4 5
 "the video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country or location"
WTF! discrimination

é só para "bifes" \o/
  • 1 0
 So well deserved Cant wait to see her trounce the 2014 field
  • 1 2
 won't let me watch the video, it says "The video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed your current country or location"

  • 1 0
 congrats to Rachel, a best of luck in 2014!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 This is annoying the video just for Uk, anyway good luck for Rach
  • 1 1
 I'm not from the UK, but is Godsmacked really a term you all use over there, or did Rachel just throw it together?
  • 3 0
 she said gob smacked not god smacked haha means taken back didn't expect it etc etc Slang mate.
  • 1 0
 Got it, I miss read it. I figured out what it meant either way but still, I've never heard that term before.
  • 1 0
 Never heard of it ! Well quite frankly I'm gobsmacked !!
  • 1 0
 Such a class act. Well deserved Rachel Smile
  • 1 0
 they played a video of dan atherton on his gt force in the speech
  • 1 0
 We would appreciate an internationally available video.
  • 1 0
 I cant get the video either and were still in the u.k for now anyway!!
  • 1 0
 This can only be a positive move for our sport! Well don Rach Smile
  • 1 0
 deserved it!!
  • 1 0
 Well deserved!
  • 1 1
 "Please note, this video may not play outside the UK."

WTF !?!?!
  • 1 2
 She certain lobbied hard enough for it!
  • 3 5
 Go, go rach. Fittest woman in sport. Proper proud o you. X
  • 2 5
 Yay girl!
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