Rachel Atherton wins BT Sport Action Woman Award
Rachel Atherton won the BT Sport Action Woman Award for the second time last night.
Rachel Atherton beat tough competition including Olympic gold medallists Maddie Hinch and Charlotte Dujardin. Atherton also won the inaugural BT Sport Action Woman Award in 2013, the second time she did the World Championship and World Cup Overall double.
The award comes on the back of her 'perfect season' in which she won every round of the World Cup and the World Championships. She now has a run of 15 consecutive wins at major races, the longest in the sport's history.
It's awesome that mountain biking has had such a big honour during an Olympic year, a pat on the back for everyone who rallied behind her and gave her a vote.
In her victory speech, Atherton said: "It's incredible, I never expected to win so I've no idea what to say. I always seem to do really well in an Olympic year which is not great because you guys are so awesome. Being here tonight is so inspiring as we're about to start off-season training. It's the kick up the backside we need.
"Thank you everyone that voted as well. The public vote proves that mountain biking, although it's not an Olympic Sport, it's so fantastic, it's so exciting, it needs to be on the TV and everyone needs to try it.
"To all the young girls out there. The crashes don't matter, you've just got to ride your bike."
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Massive congrats to Rachel from everyone here at Dirt.
We think it's awesome that she has brought the sport into the mainstream once again. Hopefully her success continues and she inspires many more young women to take up downhill in the years to come.