Rachel Atherton has won the prestigious BBC Midlands Sportswoman of the Year award. Her acceptance speech was 3 minutes 26 seconds long which Atherton said was a personal best.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

2008 womens World Mountain Bike champion Rachel Atherton beat off stiff opposition last night to be named BBC Midlands Sportswoman of the Year. Rachel who was also nominated for 'Personality of the year' alongside brother Gee claimed the award in front of a star studded audience.

"I was really surprised at winning as it was such tough competition, but delighted and honored! " Commented the youngest of the Atherton family.

The pair we're also quizzed on their thoughts on the sport becoming a Olympic discipline. "I'd love to see it in the Olympics, and it's quite a goal of my sister and me to get our sport more in the public eye." replied current mens World Champion Gee Atherton.

Also attending the BBC Sports personality of the year awards this Sunday the Atherton's continue to further the awareness of Downhill mountain biking within UK sport.

world cup downhill mountain biker Rachel Atherton wins top award