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Who is dating who blah blah……….
Can I have your phone number blah blah……….
Ok so we did ask Rachel how many handbags and high heels she has but if people are so interested in the private lives of others then they might aswell just go and buy Heat every week to see what ex Big Brother contestants are up to now.

Even if Rachel Atherton doesn’t win anything this year she will still have the gold medal for having the fastest turnaround of any DW interview so far, not much longer than it took to savour and digest a juicy steak and bottle of wine. Which of course means the real reason this interview took so long was my laziness and not hers.

Long live the woodchuck.

New Bike for 2005

Descent-World: There have been a lot of rumours about what the Athertons may be riding in 2005 so I am just going to get it out of the way right at the start, can you shed any light on this yet?

Rachel Atherton: Stay tuned! [Animal/Giant]

DW: It is quite common to see moles covered in soil after pushing there way through molehills but have you ever actually seen a muddy fox?

RA: No I haven't, but I've seen a mole. Muddyfox used to make guns, and I've seen foxes chased by a muddyfox gun, quite ironic really.

DW: When you started riding, and even now, do you aspire to your brothers or other female riders?

RA: When I first started riding I wasn't really aware of the race scene, but I have always looked at what my brothers do and tried to copy them. I think that is one of the key ingredients when a rider is young as your goals are always getting more challenging. At races I watch all the female riders and everybody has something that I admire, which is good as it keeps you hungry.

DW: Did you ever imagine you could get to the level you are at so quickly?

RA: You know a few people have asked me that and it's not as though I will sit down and think, wow I'm so young and I rule! Up until this year I've never really thought about getting to certain levels, I've always just ridden my bicycle and the rest sort of came. The way that I've been brought up has influenced me to not so much think that "yeah, I can do it", but just never to doubt it.

DW: The Atherton family now have 3 World Championship silver medals in the bank, who will be the first to get the gold?

RA: Honestly, I think that Mum should win greatest mother world championships.

World Champs Les Gets 2004

DW: What are your plans/aims for the 2005 season, are you aiming more at World Cups now, how about World Cup 4X?

RA: World Cups are definitely a big focus this year. It will be my first full season so I'm just going to concentrate on staying fresh right up until the end. For me that's the hardest part. I think I'm going to race the 4X too. I planned to last year but I didn't really realise how mentally hard the Downhill is.

DW: What are your plans for the future? Are you hoping to pursue downhill full time or are you planning to take some time out to continue academic studies?

RA: I believe that to be the world's greatest at something you have to give it your undivided attention. Right now the downhill is where I'm heading but I think I will pick study up again. If I do, it will be much to everyone's surprise, but I really do enjoy it, albeit not as much as getting sideways!

DW: You might not be in the same league as Brad and Jen or Posh and Becks but does it annoy you at all that some people (and certain magazines) are so interested in your love life, or that of other riders?

RA: Yes, it does. If someone had wanted their love life to be talked about then they would have become an actress like Jen. It's not bad that people are interested but when they feel the need to talk about it all over forums, and the way that female riders look, I think it's very disrespectful.

DW: Descent-Worlds own Superfly has a handbags to heels ratio of 3:1, what is yours?

RA: I'd say about 1:5. I really enjoy dressing up, or just dressing prettily, you know? I think that's the only down side, racing is not the most feminine of things.

Les Gets again, 28 degrees celsius, September 2004

DW: Asking the Descent-World readers for questions for you brought out a lot of requests for your phone number. Do you think that the prospect of spending a weekend in a field with a lot of sweaty, muddy and testosterone fuelled men puts a lot of women off trying the sport?

RA: Thinking about it, yes. But it was never an issue for me as I have brothers. I'd say you'd need to be quite confident with yourself, to be able to hold your own. Although I think what you described would put a lot of lads off too.

DW: Between yourself, Scarlet Hagen and Tracey Hannah there are a lot of young female downhillers cropping up who are kicking the ass of more established riders, who do you have your money on to be the next big thing?

RA: Well I can't wait to meet Tracy. I've heard a lot about her, it will be cool to have someone to ride with at races that is sort of in the same boat as me. That is if she likes me!! Hopefully Mick's been putting in some good words.

DW: Do you think that more women will get into the freeride scene, like a womens category at the slope style events?

RA: I'd like to think so but I doubt that it will happen. Most organisers need a minimum of 3 riders to open a category. Think about it. It would be cool if they'd let women ride with the men as I think if there is only one or two women in a category it puts others off, too much focus on them and the riding.

DW: Would you ever consider doing these freeride competitions or go hucking like Gee at Rampage?

RA: Yeah I think I would. I'd love to do them but I think at Rampage I would just fall forever and ever. If you crashed at say Ride To The Lake, you're more guaranteed to stop, but definitely I think that we need to become riders as well, not just racers.

Ae Forest Step Down [IL Foto]

DW: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

RA: It would make more sense to load it into a trailer than just chuck it all around.

DW: BMX racing seems to be on the up after the announcement of its inclusion at the Bejing Olympics, do you have any ambitions to have a shot at this? Afterall, enough of the BMXers have made the jump to 4X, not many go the other way!

RA: I started out on a BMX, my first race was when I was 8. For me it will always be the coolest discipline, you just can't get that style on an MTB. But no I won't go back to it. I still race in the winter but only for fun. By the time 2008 comes the novelty will have worn off for most people.

DW: What do you know about Shanaze Reade?

RA: Hell. She's big. No offence. She's so powerful. I expect she’s fed up with hearing it! She sure has her snap on. She wants to race 4X apparently, so they better watch out! I sat behind her at an awards ceremony and I wanted to talk to her but couldn't get up the courage! But she seems like a bob on girl, and she's young.

DW: Have you got anything interesting to tell us that might be a good way to end an interview?

RA: Not really. I'd like to be a sprinter. I beat my brothers records at primary.

DW: Give the speech....who do you want to thank?

RA: Daniel for being the driving force behind me and George. If it wasn't for him none of this would ever have happened. Mum for giving up everything so we have the best life. George for making me believe I can make it even though he tells me afterwards that he didn't mean it. Dad for washing our bikes then pushing three up the hill again! And to everyone that sponsors me, I've still to prove myself.

Big thanks to Rachel for a great interview.

 

Step Down...World's 2004
Ae Forest last turn - March 2005
 
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