Rachel Atherton is charging toward another World Cup title. After setting a new world record at the last stop in Leogang, the Brit is gearing up for her next win at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Lenzerheide. Looking ahead Rachel took the time to talk about the competition, the course and the rising pressure of expectations. Red Bull TV will be broadcasting the downhill action in Lenzerheide on Saturday from 2.30pm CEST.
Words: Julia Renner Photos: Seb Schiek
Last year’s win in Lenzerheide was your third of the streak, which led you to set a new world record in Leogang. What are the chances of you winning your eleventh race in a row in Lenzerheide this year?
I try to race each race like its my first, not thinking about what has gone before, good or bad… but it’s hard, even harder now when people keep asking, whether you can win 10 or 11 in a row. I wish they wouldn’t! When you are in that start-gate it doesn’t matter whether you won by 20 seconds last time out or crashed three times on the way down, none of that can affect your race today.
After the race in Leogang you said that you are really pushed to the limit in order to win, because the level of riding is so balanced. Who do you see as your biggest contestant in Lenzerheide this year?
All of the girls are getting faster and stronger all the time. I feel like I have to constantly up my game to stay out in front. The British girls Manon Carpenter and Tahnee Seagrave are constantly pushing me, Tracey Hannah is on red-hot form and now we’ve got Miranda Miller in the mix. I take nothing for granted; any one of them could take the win.