UCI Women’s DH Round 3: FORT WILLIAM

Ragot distances Atherton with World Cup win in Ft. William

After training all week during the driest conditions on record, the wet weather returned for round three of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, Scotland. The wet and muddy conditions did not stop the World Cup leader from padding her lead in the standings, as Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) held off all challengers to record victory. Ragot spent much of the women’s race sitting in the hot seat, after suffering a flat during qualifying.

In qualifying, the course was so dry that organizers resorted to wetting down sections of the run that was become extremely loose and washing out. However, overnight the always threatening Highlands rain moved in, and continued to fall more or less steadily throughout racing, backing off occasionally, only to return. Proof as to how poor the conditions were could be seen in the winning time: Ragot didn’t came close to the fastest time set in qualifying by round two winner Rachel Atherton (GT Factory).

Ragot started halfway through the women’s field. Rachel Atherton’s fastest time in qualifying was a blazing 5:15.146, but early riders were having trouble getting under six minutes in race day conditions. Celine Gros (Team Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie) was the only to do so before Ragot took a staggering 28 seconds off to claim the lead.

As rider after rider came down, none could get within 10 seconds of Ragot’s time until the final two riders. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction), the second fastest qualifier, came in 9.416 seconds slower than Ragot, so it was up to Atherton. Atherton came through the top split over a second and a half faster than Ragot, but lost nearly two and a half seconds by the second split, recovering slightly by the finish to end up 1.315 seconds behind. Nicole took third.

“It was a long time that I was waiting, but I just tried to stay mellow,” agreed Ragot. “I had a good feeling on my bike, but it was pretty muddy conditions and you have to go fast but not slip on the rocks, so it was hard conditions.”

Ragot now leads the women’s standings with 570 points, followed by Atherton – who missed round one – with 450 and Nicole at 441.

Read full race report here

Watch the whole event again here!

Women’s Top 5

1. Emmeline Ragot
2. Rachel Atherton
3. Myriam Nicole
4. Floriane Pugin
5. Tracy Moseley

11. Miranda Miller

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