Womens Downhill: Victorious return to competition for Atherton
The opening round of the downhill saw a slight easing of the rain overnight, rendering the course sticky and slower. Rachel Atherton, returning to competition after sitting out last season due to a shoulder surgery, did not have a good start to the weekend: she crashed in the qualifyiers, and had to ride with a broken finger. However, the 2008 World Champion blazed the course, the fastest at every split, beating second placed Sabrina Jonnier (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) by 10 seconds and Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) by 13 seconds.
"It hasn't sunk in yet; I can't believe it," exclaimed Atherton after her run. "I never thought I'd win. I came here hoping for a top five, so maybe being relaxed and having fun is the way to have a good run."