4 World Cup Series wins in 2013 made Rachel the most awarded British Mountain biker in the history of the sport with 19 World Cup wins to her name. On the global stage, Rachel dominates Women’s Downhill Mountain-biking. Her international titles now include twice European Champion, twice World Champion and three times World Cup Champion. She holds four British national titles.
Rachel’s femininity, toughness and her honesty on issues such as body image mean that her appeal stretches beyond Mountain-biking. She has been Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the year, BBC Midlands Sportswoman of the year and in Jan 2014 she won the inaugural BTSport Action Woman of the Year – putting Downhill Mountainbiking firmly on the mainstream media map.
Rachel has been racing BMX since she was 8 year old and mountain-bikes since she was 11. It was clear from the start that she had something special, with Junior level wins wherever she raced. In 2008 when she was 20 years old everything seemed to come together in a golden year which saw her take both the World Cup Series and the World Championships but a freak accident with a truck put her out of racing for the entire 2009 season.
It was typical of Rachel to come back stronger and more committed than ever, starting the 2010 season with a World Cup Round 1 win at Maribor. Her shoulder injury continued to plague her but Rachel set about 2011 with vigour, placing 3rd or above in every World Cup Series with a silver in the World Championships as an added bonus. 2012 was better still with 5 out of 7 World Cup wins and the overall title but Rachel was far from satisfied!
The 2013 season kicked off with Round 1 at Fort William – Rachel’s ongoing nemesis. In 2012 she had been crushed to place 2nd to Emmeline Ragot, her sixth 2nd place in seven years at this venue. Demonstrating the physical and mental strength that the family are famous for Rachel laid down a spectacular run to take the long awaited first – just hours before brother Gee made it a double victory in the Men’s Downhill.
Her World Cup success continued with further victories at Val di Sole and Vallnord – she crashed out at Mont St Anne giving the team a momentary scare but got back on the bike to finish 12th . Two weeks later she had recovered sufficiently to take a resounding victory at the World Championships in South Africa and a week after that another World Cup at Hafjell – enough for the overall title.
Rachel is characteristically modest about “Doing the double” in 2013 , five tough years since she took both major titles in 2008. She said “ When you are young titles almost happen more easily, this year means even more to me because of the hard graft that I’ve put in to get here.” Rachel has committed herself to encouraging more young women to take up the sport. When she isn’t riding Rachel loves yoga and relaxing with her dog, Angus.
- 2013 World Championship 1st
- 2013 WC DH Series Winner 1st
- 2013 WC DH Series team fastest overall 1st
- 2013WC DH Rd 1Fort William 1st
- 2013 WC DH Rd 2 Val d I Sole 1st
- 2013DH Rd 3Vallnord 1st
- 2013 DH Rd 5 Hafjell
- 2013 British National Championships 1st
- 2012 WC DH Series Winner 1st
- 2012 WC DH Series team fastest overall 1st
- 2012 WC DH Rd 7 Hafjell 1st
- 2012 WC DH Rd 6 Val d’Isere 1st
- 2012 DH Rd 5 Windham 1st
- 2012 DH Rd 4 MSA 1st
- 2012 WC DH Rd 3 Fort William 2nd
- 2012 WC DH Rd 2 Val di Sole 1st
- 2012 Giant Air DH Crankworx Europe 1st
- 2012 British Championships Moelfre 1st
- 2011 World Championships, Champery 2nd
- 2011 WC DH Rd 5 Windham 1st
- 2010 2 x WC DH Maribor and Windham 1st
- 2008 WC DH Series Winner 1st
- 2008 World Championship 1st