Gee and Rachel Atherton took another double victory at the British National Champs this weekend in their beloved Llangynog. It was their fifth consecutive double win of the season and their second consecutive double win at the British National Champs but it wasn’t all plain sailing – Steve Peat pushed Gee hard all the way.
Rachel was first up for the qualifying runs. The course was dusty and fast – and the riders loved it! After Friday’s track walk Rachel tweeted “Hell Yeah, national Champs track looks dope! Rhys “Powy” Evans and Gareth “Gazzy B” Brewin have done sterling work” and after Saturday’s practise runs “Miiiint day practising – so dry and dusty the locals won’t come out!”
Rachel put in a storming qualifying run, to land 12 seconds clear of Manon Carpenter with a time of 3.39.627
Come Finals she went faster still! Clocking a remarkable 3.38.81, 7.4 seconds clear of Manon and 24 seconds clear of Jess Stone who took the third.
Rachel said “That was such fun! And it means so much to both of us wear the British Champs jersey for another year – I really treasure it – especially having won it here in Llangynog.”
With Taylor Vernon and Marc Beaumont nursing injuries Gee was next up. He qualified 2nd To Steve peat with a time of 3.25.176. Peat was 1.17 seconds ahead. Come Finals it was agonisingly close – indeed it looked as if Steve Peat would prevail as he took time out of Gee at the split but a mistake in the lower section cost him the race and he dropped back into 13th position.
Gee said “I was stoked to take another win alongside Rach, especially on such a fantastic track and in our home village and I’m so proud to ride around the world in thje British Champs jersey, but I’m gutted for Peaty, It’s not the way I wanted to win it – I really thought he had me there…”
Photos: Laurence Crossman- Emms
1 ATHERTON Gee 3:22.016
2 SMITH Joseph 3:24.027 +2.011
3 WILLIAMSON Greg 3:24.699 +2.683
4 SIMMONDS Matthew 3:25.075 +3.059
5 DALE Sam 3:25.637 +3.621
1 ATHERTON Rachel 3:38.810
2 CARPENTER Manon 3:46.234 +7.424
3 STONE Jess 4:02.821 +24.011
4 CHIDLEY Traharn 4:33.277 +54.467
5 GREAVES Jess 4:48.229 +1:09.419
Next weekend the team will race World Cup Round 3 at Vallnord, Andorra.