Rachel Atherton to continue her Sponsorship of the Junior Women’s Category at the 2017 HSBC UK National Downhill Series.
Rachel has long been a passionate advocate for getting more women and girls riding and racing mountain bikes. It is her firm belief that sport, in particular racing downhill, can give young women a confidence and self-belief that no amount of shopping or make-up could ever come close to.
Rachel’s sponsorship of the category will be very practical, with prizes for winning riders from her sponsors. The reason for this is Rachel’s belief that so many girls are currently hampered in their racing performance by not having the correct kit or set-up.
I was lucky, having two big brothers who dragged me into riding when I was probably more interested in playing with my pet rabbit. I want to repay that favour by encouraging as many women and young girls into racing as possible. It’s not about how fast you are right now, it’s about how fast you could be. I’m stoked to be working with the HSBC UK National Downhill Series because it’s at the heart of what makes UK mountain biking so awesome. We all came up through the ranks of the series, but when I started out there were no young girls racing, I remember being stood on the junior women’s podium on my own! I still love to ride the Series today, and I can honestly say that some of my favourite weekends of the last couple of years have been spent in the sunshine and chilled atmosphere of the series! – Rachel Atherton.
Hats off to Rachel for her vision and creativity to create and carry on with this opportunity. The success of the British Women at the World Cups and Worlds Championships has had a direct impact on the number of women racing the series, with entries more than doubling in number. We welcome all female athletes and hope that the series – with Rachel’s backing, support and guidance – will be that stepping stone for British women racing World Cups and beyond, chasing those gold medals! – Si Paton, Event Director, HSBC UK National Downhill Series.
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