Siblings primed for the Downhill Ashes at the Cairns World Cup


Staff member
Siblings primed for the Downhill Ashes at the Cairns World Cup
Cairns is set for the ‘Downhill Ashes’ with Australian siblings Tracey and Mick Hannah (Hutchinson UR) set to battle Great Britain’s Rachel and Gee Atherton (GT Factory/Atherton Racing) at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this weekend. (Download imges).
With the rival siblings boasting a wealth of World Cup wins and world titles between them, both pairs will be eager to taste the spoils of individual victory and will be hoping to share in each other’s glory come race day.
“There’s obviously some arguments that go on, which I know is the same for Mick and Tracy, but at the end of the day, that support and trust from your brother, that’s amazing,” explained Rachel, the reigning world and World Cup series champion. Rachel also boasts the most World Cup victories by any British rider in history.
“Rachel and I are always racing together, we always talk through lines, walk the track together and that only helps you,” said Rachel’s older brother Gee, who has finished in the top five of the World Cup Series every year since 2004. “Being able to trust someone like that and ride the track with them, it only helps you,” he said.
Australia’s Mick Hannah will be tough to beat on his home track, with the Cairns’ native in red-hot form after claiming a runner up finish at the opening round in South Africa earlier this month.
“Obviously it would be nice for Tracey and I to win it on the same weekend,” said Cairns’ Mick Hannah. “Gee and Rachel have done that before, so that would be really cool,” he said.
“South Africa was just a week and a half ago and I wasn’t too happy with my final, but I ended up second so hopefully with the hometown advantage I can get first,” explained Mick.
“This course definitely suits my riding style, it’s kind of a revamped version of the old '96 world champs track, just modernised and a bit faster and bigger and more technical.
“I definitely think I can win.”
Gee, who finished the 2013 season on top of the UCI rankings, rounded out the top ten at the South African leg of the World Cup and will be looking at Hannah as a close rival.
“I’ve known Mick a long time; he’s an awesome rider and a big competitor of mine,” explained Gee. “In South Africa he showed us that he’s up there this year and I’m sure this weekend will be no different.”
“The mud is something we’re definitely used to,” explained Gee. “The wet, rooty surface is something we spend a lot of time of in the UK winters so it’s a huge contrast to the last race [in South Africa] which will mix it up a bit and be exciting.”
Tracey returns home after finishing sixth in South Africa and is hoping her local Cairns knowledge will help her over the line come Saturday.
“I think it’s a great course, it’s fun to ride, it’s different and it’s completely in the rainforest so a lot of the foreigners don’t want to crash onto the snakes and spiders, which is funny. I think it will be really fun and fast.”
The two sibling pairs will go head-to-head this Saturday when the Downhill finals will be held at Smithfield Regional Park from 12:30pm.
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--------------------About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • The opening round was held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) April 10-13. Results
  • Seven rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. More info
2014 Cairns World Cup Online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info