Britain wins 3 Gold Medals in Elite Downhill Mountain Bike Championships in Italy
In Val di Sole, Italy, the British Team won 3 golds and 2 silvers in the Downhill Racing at the UCI World Mountainbiking Championships, during the week 11-22 June 2008. They were won by Rachel Atherton (Womens' mountainbiking), Gee Atherton (mens'), and Josh Bryceland (junior men). Rachel and Gee belong to a known 'mountainbiking family'.
Though we didn't get as many medals as Switzerland or France, we have still done very well, in that we have achieved a high standard mountainbiking with many Golds and even beaten other participating countries in that respect. Our British mountain bikers are ones to watch and also women mountainbikers, still a minority, are well on their way to stardom.
Mountainbiking is seen as a 'minority sport' in the UK despite the fact we are doing very well, and, despite some counties, like Kent, not having velodromes to practice on during the fowl British winter. Mountainbiking centres are so also having a job to get funding and some, like Penshurst Off-road Club, in Kent, who have bidded for the London Olympics (Mountainbike track), have been battling for permission from Sevenoaks District Council to even get a wheelchair cycling track at their Mountain Bike Centre which would benefit disabled people.
According to Cyclingnews.com, the total number of medals won in the UCI Mountainbike Championships by various countries are listed below:-
Switzerland (2 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze)
France (2 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze)
Great Britain (3 Gold, 2 Silver)
Spain (2 Gold)
Czech Republic (1 Silver, 1 Bronze)
Germany (1 Silver, 1 Bronze)
Colombia (1 Gold)
Slovenia (1 Gold)
Slovakia (1 Gold)
United States (1 Gold)
Hungary (1 Silver)
South Africa (1 Silver)
Australia (1 Bronze)
Italy (1 Bronze)
Poland (1 Bronze)
Russian Federation (1 Bronze)
UPDATE: 30 June 2007 Penshurst Off Road Park have finally got their Wheel Chair Track