Gee Atherton wins the World Cup Series
MEDIA RELEASE 08.30.10
After a nail biting season which has seen Commencal rider Gee Atherton and Santa Cruz Syndicates Greg Minnaar scrapping over tenths seconds all year, we finally crowned a World Cup Champion at the final round today at Windham Mountain, New York.
With only seven points at his advantage coming into the event, Gee had to ensure he placed higher than Minnaar to take his first ever World Cup title.
Qualifying fifth just behind South African Minnaar meant Gee was first of the two title chasers down the mountain. He had to set the gauntlet for the South African to follow and he certainly did that. Riding fast and loose on the upper section saw Gee's split seven tenths up on the current leader Nick Beer, pushing hard towards the bottom Gee extended that lead to 3.38 seconds as he dived for the line.
With Gee's job done now it was all down to Greg the next rider on track, to decide who would take the title. Flying through split one it was obvious this was going to be tight, Minnaar trailed by just .65, the gap stayed similar on intermediate split two at .68 with the final 500m left to go. Minnaar pushed hard to the line and clawed some back but it wasn't enough and suddenly Gee knew he had taken the World Series.
With the result for the overall all sewn up the focus shifted to the winner on the day, first Kiwi rider Sam Blenkinsop failed to topple Gee then he was followed by home favorite Aaron Gwin who slipped by. This left only current World Champion Steve Peat with a chance. Ahead at both splits it was looking good for the Brit, but just as he came into view of the finish disaster struck and he hit the deck.
This left a triumphant Gee with his third World Cup win of the year and the overall title to polish of an amazing season.
"This title has been a long time coming, we've been in contention before but never this close. I am so stoked to have claimed something I have put so much time and effort into. The whole team have performed incredible this season, working tirelessly, and there is no way I could have even got close without them.”
The celebrations didn't just stop at the men's as Gee's sister Rachel took the win in the women’s event. Coming back from a shoulder injury that saw her miss two rounds of the series, Rachel made her return in style by taking the womens race by 1.36 seconds over fellow Brit Tracy Moesely. Rachel claimed sixth overall despite having missed two earlier rounds due to injury.
The pair are now looking towards next weekends World Championships which happen just across the border in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada where they will hope to duplicate the 2008 World Championships where they both took home the gold.
You can join the Atherton’s ‘Extended Family’ at www.athertonracing.co.uk and stay in touch with all the latest news via Twitter @AthertonRacing and the official Atherton Racing Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/athertonracing