The British National Downhill Championships are part of the annual British Cycling National Mountain Biking Championships, which were first held at Builth Wells, Wales in 1998. The races are only open to riders of British nationality, and the winner is entitled to wear the national champion’s jersey until the following year’s national championships.
The first ever British downhill champions were Tracy Moseley and now-legendary commentator Rob Warner. The most successful male rider in the event’s history is Steve Peat, with seven victories (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010). In the women’s division, Moseley went on to win the event seven further times after that initial victory, including four consecutive victories between 2006 and 2009.
The 2013 edition of the championships took place at Rhyd-Y-Felin, Llangynog. Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) defended her senior women’s title with a time of 3:38.810, over seven seconds clear of Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Downhill Team) in second. Jess Stone (Unior Tools Team) completed the podium, 24 seconds back from Atherton.
There was further success for the Atherton family in the men’s event, where Gee (GT Factory Racing) came out on top against a packed field that included stars such as Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland and Matt Simmonds. He defended his title with a time of 3:22.016, two seconds ahead of Joe Smith (ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof) and Greg Williamson (Trek World Racing).