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Gee Atherton crowned world champion again

Oswestry | Sport | Published:

Shropshire's downhill mountain biker Gee Atherton has been crowned world champion after a thrilling performance in the Mountain Bike World Championships.

Atherton, of Llangynog near Oswestry, reclaimed the title he first won in 2008 following an impressive performance in Hafjell, Norway on Sunday.

But it wasn't a completely successful day for the Atherton family after Gee's sister Rachel narrowly lost her rainbow jersey in the women's contest.

Rachel had to settle for second place after finishing runner-up behind Manon Carpenter by a minuscule 0.088 seconds.

Despite his winning performance, Gee was far from from happy with his title-winning ride.

He said: "My run was messy. Hafjell is the kind of track where you are going to make mistakes, you have to expect things to change.

"Sitting there with riders still to come down I wasn't at all sure that what I had done was good enough for the gold.

"But it's an incredible feeling to be back in the rainbow stripes.

"2008 was a long time ago. It's been a while, but winning the world champs is never something you stop wanting, and I never stopped working toward it."

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Meanwhile, in the women's race, Rachel Gee was the last rider to take part as she set off in a bid to hold onto her rainbow jersey.

Rachel was a second up on her rival during the first and second sections of her run, but a small mistake in the final section meant she had to settle for second place.

Dan Brown, Rachel's team director, said: "We're all gutted for Rachel, who's shown such determination this season to get back up there where she belongs.

"It would have been the fairy-tale ending and it's what we all came for this weekend but that's racing. We'll see you again next year."

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