Downhill mountain bike world champion Rachel Atherton claimed an impressive third place at BT Sport’s Action Woman of the Year ceremony in London last night.
The award – voted for by members of the public – was won by England’s women footballers, with the national hockey team claiming second place and Atherton making up the top three as the highest ranked individual.
The initial shortlist of ten of the highest achieving British sportswomen of 2015 also included 2015 UCI Road World Champion, Lizzie Armitstead.
The third place caps a tremendous 12 months for Atherton, who edged out compatriot and defending champion Manon Carpenter to win her third world title in Andorra in September. The 27 year-old also won the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup title this year, after a dominant season saw her win six of the seven rounds.
The BT Sport Action Woman of the Year award, now in its third year, celebrates the very best of British women’s sporting achievements. Atherton is a previous recipient of the award having won the title in 2013.
Just been told I was 3rd in the @btsport Action Women Awards!! England football won, England hockey 2nd then Downhill mountainbiking!! cool!— rachel atherton (@rachelatherton) December 1, 2015
Atherton and Armitstead are among the British female riders continuing to set the standard at the very top of their sport and inspiring tens of thousands of women and girls to take up cycling either.
British Cycling’s #WeRide strategy aims to harness this inspiration, and encourage one million more women to cycle regularly by 2020.