SIBLING mountain bikers have both won a major national competition.
Gee and Rachel Atherton won the Elite Men’s and Women’s British Cycling National Mountain Biking Downhill Series at Llangollen.
The talented brother and sister are former national champions and negotiated the fourth round event at Llangollen – known as one of the toughest stages of this year’s series – as a number of riders struggled with the steep, technical gradient in practice and qualifying.
The results mean Gee overtakes Marc Beaumont as the 2014 series leader, while Rachel’s win was not quite enough to overturn Manon Carpenter’s 81 point series lead in the women’s series going into the Llangollen race.
More than 300 riders participated at Llangollen, with nearly 60 riders in the elite categories.
British Cycling Race Director, Simon Paton, said: “Llangollen presented huge challenges for even the most accomplished riders and, with this year’s series already closely fought, it’s to the tremendous credit of all the riders to complete the course, but for the elite riders chasing the title, to do so at such speeds was incredible to witness.
“A big win here for Gee and Rachel means the series will move into the fifth and final round at Bike Park Wales, near Merthyr Tydfil, in September still wide open.”
Joseph Smith finished second in the elite men’s race, ahead of Danny Hart and Josh Bryceland, while current British Downhill Series and World Cup Series’ leader, Welsh starlet Manon Carpenter, was second in the elite women’s race.