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Keep it in the family

Gee and Rachel Atherton – European Champions

The European Downhill Championships were held last weekend at the splendidly-named Commezzadura-Val-di-Sole, Italy. Despite the absence of a few eligible heavy-hitters (most notably the current World Cup leaders Steve Peat and Tracy Moseley), there was still a high-class field. World Champion Fabien Barel made a perhaps earlier-than-expect return to racing after shredding his arm on a film shoot – the injury didn’t seem to have slowed him down much, although on the day he could only manage third. The top two spots in the Elite Men race were both taken by British riders – Marc Beaumont was second, and Gee Atherton bagged himself the Champion’s jersey.

More good news for the British contingent and the Atherton family in the Elite Women race, where Rachel Atherton added a European Championship title to her Junior World and British National ones. That’s Rachel’s first international senior championship win, and comes hot on the heels of her first World Cup victory. Marielle Saner was second and Helen Gaskell third.

In other categories, Brendan Fairclough took the Junior Men title, while Jules Coventry won in the Master Women category.

And they’ll all be back in the UK for this weekend’s Fat Face National Championships – if you want to see the new European champs in action, head for Moelfre, Powys…


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