Race Preview: British National Championships, Rhyd y Felin

Race Preview: British National Championships, Rhyd y Felin

Gee and Rachel Atherton are riding high on a staggering series of four consecutive double  victories at Fort William and Val di Sole World Cups, BDS Round 4 at Llangollen and last week’s Polygon Air DH at Crankworx. Can they “Do the double” once more in front of a local crowd to keep hold of their British National crowns?

Marc Beaumont and Taylor Vernon will both sit this one out – Taylor is going to need an extended period of rehab after fracturing 3 vertebrae at Crankworx and Marc is still nursing a nasty gash in his arm sustained in training at Les Deux Alps.

Riders: Gee Atherton, Rachel Atherton
Mechanics: Piotr Michaliszyn, Andy Lund

Bikes: No question! The siblings will be riding the new GT Fury

Race guide:

The course is long, steep in places and technical, with a mixture of open track and tightly packed trees. Rachel says she’ll be wearing double shoulder protection! It’s a brand new course so it should be a level playing field. With the scarcity of rain this week it’s likely to be dusty and very fast!

Weather forecast:
Hot  (around 25degrees C) and dry. There may be some cloud but it looks as though one of the riders’ key tasks will be to keep cool.

History:

Gee and Rachel are both leading the world rankings. And both are in top form. They are both reigning British National Champions after victories at Moelfre last year, however Rhyd y Felin has not always been kind to it’s local champions – in 2008 Gee suffered a front wheel wash out close to the finish and Rachel was airlifted off the mountain with a suspected broken leg.

Current situation – team perspectives

Gee: “There’s something very special about being National Champion – it’s not an honour that either of us are going to give up without a fight. But it’s also going to be fun racing in the ‘Nog again!”

Rachel: “Rhyd Felin is our home track, Llangynog will always be close to our hearts, wherever else we race so I’m really looking forward to it – but what I’ve seen of that new track looks gnarly – too many trees!”

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