There must be something in the water in Shropshire. In the case of Rachel, the youngest of the Athertons, it certainly seems so.
At just 23 years of age she might just be the most talented of the bunch and over the past few years has become a major player in downhill racing. After winning a host of categories in 2005, she was named Times Young Sportswoman of the Year and hasn’t looked back since.
Indeed, she totally dominated the women’s downhill circuit in 2008, winning the World Cup overall and taking World Championship gold. On her way to the World Cup, overall she took four World Cup wins, and only missed out on a top two finish at one race, in Fort William.
Rachel was hit by a truck during pre-season training whilst out on a road cycle, and took time out to recover. She is now fighting fit and proved she is worthy of world titles after taking an impressive number of victories in 2010 to leave her in 7th place overall in the UCI Women's Elite downhill ranking.
With her schedule already packed for the upcoming season, Rachel plans to be back to top form and a force to be reckoned with in 2011.