The perfect season
In her first year with Trek Factory Racing Downhill, Rachel Atherton accomplished the unimaginable. She won every UCI World Cup event and the World Championships, achieving the first-ever perfect season in the history of World Cup mountain biking. It’s an accomplishment so exceptional it may never be repeated. Mountain biking, and downhill in particular, is a sport of split-second decisions with real consequences. Races are won and lost by milliseconds, and one miscalculation can be the difference between first and DNF. To win a single race at the highest level, everything must go exactly right. Each line must be perfectly executed, the bike must perform flawlessly, and, most importantly, the athlete must be in top form. These variables are what make back-to-back wins so rare and remarkable. Rachel, though—she won fourteen in succession. Her path to the perfect season was long and fraught with challenges—including a crash during a training ride that nearly ended her career, as well as periods plagued with illness and injury that derailed her dreams in seasons past—but Rachel entered 2016 on top, wearing the signature rainbow stripes of the World Championship jersey after earning the top spot on the podium in the final six consecutive events of 2015.