Britain’s Rachel Atherton extended her remarkable record-winning run to 14 with victory at the opening round of the 2017 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Lourdes, France on Sunday.
The 29-year-old world champion - who had a perfect 2016 - set a time 3:21.430 to continue an unbeaten streak in the competition that dates back to 2015.
Tahnee Seagrave, who qualified fastest on Saturday, was third with a time of 3:24.165 while Manon Carpenter finished in fifth.
“I absolutely cannot believe it. It’s been such a mad weekend,” Atherton said.
“The track is so rough. Tahnee - I follow her on Instagram and know she has been training hard - she beat me in qualifying fair and square. I just thought ‘this is it’ and I’ve just got to out and do what I normally do.
On her unbeaten run, she said: “It’s been two years of intense pressure but at the end of the day I love racing, it’s such a buzz.”
Rain scupper Hart’s hopes
Heavy rain ruined world champion Danny Hart’s hopes of victory in the elite men’s event as Gee Atherton took 10th place.
Frenchman Alexandre Fayolle was victorious as the early starters benefitted from dry conditions before rain effectively ended the challenges of the fastest qualifiers, including Hart who was 76th.