Rachel Atherton Interview | Endtroducing

The young lady with the wild hair and a dog from Llangynog, North Wales aka 2012 UCI World Cup Champion and GT Factory Racing rider Rachel Atherton is this weeks Endtroducing star.

Rachel looking pinned at the 2012 Windham WC. Photo:Sebastian Schieck.

Who is Rachel Atherton?
A young lady who is half country, half sport…a young lady who wants to do it all…a young lady who, when she gets on a bike, becomes the best person she can be.

Where do you live?
In a house full of character on the Welsh side of the North Wales border, UK. The place where I call home is home also to both my brothers, and home to Atherton Racing HQ, the race team we have developed.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Being a teenager without direction.

Where’s your favourite place?
The remote top of a hill with the elements battering me and my dog…
the top of the podium with my emotions battering me…
or the bottom of a training session with only my own arms to climb out of it with.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?
I love to ride at home. The dirt and ground is amazing and growing up on it makes it feel and mean something to me… it’s one of the reasons why I love riding a mountainbike, the smell and texture of the dirt is unreal when you pay attention to it.
Riding abroad is amazing too mainly because it seems to bring together random people that you don’t get the chance to ride with normally and it’s so funny…Europe…Whistler…UK…you know the places.

When are you happiest?
When I am strong. Then you feel you can do anything. Doubting your body sucks.
I am happy when the race season is in full swing, everyone is working hard in the team, the racing is tight, my body aches all the time, my mind is fast and alert, its an amazing feeling to open your eyes mid season and really see the pace of a race team. When I’m not racing I have to work hard to still be myself.
Being at the motocross track with my dog and Ben Reid is a close second, pushing yourself and seeing big improvements is rad.
When I can sing or dance I am happy.

What makes you angry?
My brothers. Our communication with each other is shit.
Being unorganised.
Sitting Down.
Being so far from my potential as a human being.

What makes you happy?
Training to win. Proof that I have bettered myself. My Dog. Riding gnarly muddy Enduro on the 250f behind my bros and still being behind them at the end 😉
Being stupid with my brothers. We argue a lot and so when we get on, joke around, go riding and are stupid and easy, it means a lot now.
Being up high.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Look for Evidence. You can’t argue with the past, the evidence is right there for
you to see.
Don’t do the same thing and expect different results.
Get a dog…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
Get a dog.
Get a bike.

What are your extravagances?
Dog Food. Music. Stuff for my house. Clothes.

Rachel Atherton on her way to victory in Val d’Isere 2012. Photo Sebastian Schieck

Who do you admire?
People who are really happy and can put a positive spin on things. My friend Harriet is always happy and has a positive outlook and I could watch her all day long.
I admire people who go confidently in the direction of their dreams and two fingers to what anyone else says about them.

What’s the most important thing in your life?
My health and that of those around me.

What would you never throw away?
My race diaries.

What’s your greatest fear?
Losing my health or that of those around me.

What was your luckiest escape?
Mum had a battle to keep myself and my twin when she was pregnant, I was the
lucky one that got to stay and I have felt that luck ever since.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Walk down the stairs and wish Angus Dog good morning. He is the perfect start to the day.

What’s the last thing you do at night?
Remove my book from my sleepy face and turn the lamp off.

What would be your dream meal?
Homemade curry with all the trimmings 😉

What things do you always carry with you?
Lip balm, hair tie and an underlying grumpy streak….

Do you have any regrets?
No…I make an effort to learn something from every situation.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?
That you can’t do everything alone.
To trust my instincts every time.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
Vincent Van Goch, My Granny’s mum-Nanna, Queen Elizabeth and Pirate Grace O’Malley (they sort of come as a pair)

Who is your favourite rider?
Well I love watching and seeing the differences between all the top DH racers, it’s amazing to see how they each attack a section…if I had to choose… of all time?
Probably Sam Hill and PomPom (Myriam Nicole).

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?
The dropper seat post thing. Heaven.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?
Bottle cages that bolt UNDER the frame. Muddy!!

What’s your favourite motto or saying?
If you want something done properly do it yourself!

What saying do you use too much?
Gee, Gee, Gee, GEEEEE what do you think Gee? Aff, Aff, Aff, AFFFFY, what do
you think Aff???? Silence.

What bike are you riding at the moment?
My Honda 250f and GT Force LE…siiiiick

What are you listening to at the moment?
The Dublin City Ramblers…

What one thing would you change about yourself?
My inability to house a straight set of teeth in my mouth.

What are your weaknesses?
Food. Sleep. Singing!!

What does the future hold for you?
A lot I hope! If it holds the most physically and mentally strong Rachel there has ever been I will be chuffed to bits… I hope it holds achievement in DH racing but I also hope that I will learn and learn and learn, I don’t want my brain to shrink.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?
Big Things. You can see from the way that racers, sponsors and the public alike are viewing the sport that it is growing and will continue to do so, people are hungry for it, hungry to be part of something so pure and accessible and as racers that are at the top of the sport, it’s our job to spread the word and show the world that mountainbiking IS accessible and achievable for everyone…not just DH racers.

How would you like to be remembered?
As the young lady with wild hair from North Wales, who rode her bike like a dude but danced like a girl!


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