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RACHEL ATHERTON will not race the Worlds

Speculation on whether Rachel Atherton will race the Worlds has ended with an official announcement from Animal Commencal team manager Dan Brown.

Read the press release below for the official word.

RACHEL ATHERTON VOWS TO COME BACK FASTER AND STRONGER IN 2010

Animal Commencal team director Dan Brown has confirmed that Rachel Atherton will not race this year and will instead focus on being fully fit for the 2010 season.

The 21 year old rider has been in training and it was hoped she would be able to defend her UCI World Championship crown in Australia.

Brown said: “Rach has been on the bike for the last six weeks and is feeling and looking good however her shoulder needs more time to develop muscle mass in order to ride properly.

“Therefore, after consultation with the surgeons and specialists used by the British Cycling team, we have agreed that the best course of action is not to rush her back and concentrate on next year instead.”

Despite her tender years, Rachel Atherton is globally recognised within mountain biking and has already made an impact outside the sport.

In 2008, she beat Olympian Rebecca Adlington to the BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year and was also shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year.

At only 20 years old, Rach became the first British woman to win the Elite Women UCI Downhill World Championship in June 2008 with an unprecedented winning margin of 12 seconds.

Rach said: “Taking time out of racing is incredibly hard, but the hunger it leaves you with is amazing – even now I am getting excited about next year and I cannot wait for the battle to commence!

“I’m concentrating on recovering 110%, focussing on my bike and how much fun I am having riding again, and putting all my efforts towards a seamless 2010 and beyond!

Rach also issued a stark warning to her competitors ahead of the 2010 season: “I’ve never felt in a better mindset for a race season to come…never felt stronger or hungrier to win and be the best.”

Rach brother’s and team mates Dan (27) and Gee (24) Atherton will be flying the flag for team Animal Commencal and looking to end the season on a high.

RACHEL ATHERTON VOWS TO COME BACK FASTER AND STRONGER IN 2010

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