GT Factory Racing’s Gee and Rachel Atherton won the elite men’s and women’s races respectively at round four of British Cycling’s MTB Downhill Series at Llangollen on Sunday.
On arguably the toughest stage of this year’s series as a number of riders struggled with the steep, technical gradient in practice and qualifying.
Joseph Smith (CRC/Nukeproof) came second in the men’s race, ahead of Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off Road Team) and Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate).
Current Shimano British Downhill Series and world cup series’ leader, Wales’ 21-year old starlet Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen), was seconds behind Atherton in the women’s race, from Jess Greaves (Don Skene Cycles) in third.
Emulating one the most hotly contested seasons at this year’s UCI downhill world cup series, the top five standings in the elite men’s British Cycling MTB Downhill Series category were separated by just 17 points before the Llangollen stage.
The results now mean Gee Atherton overtakes Marc Beaumont as the 2014 series leader, while Rachel’s win was not quite enough to overturn Manon’s 81 point series lead going into Sunday’s race
More than 300 riders participated at Llangollen, with nearly 60 riders in the elite categories.
Round five, the final round of the 2014 series, will take place at the newly established and challenging Bike Park Wales on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September.