For the second year running it was Britain’s women downhillers who brought home the medals at the 2007 Mountain Bike World Championships in New Zealand. Tracy Moseley and Rachel Atherton flew the Union Jack down under by taking silver and bronze medals on the tough Mount Ngongotaha course overlooking Rotorua.
Moseley — comfortably leading her World Cup series at the time — had qualified fastest in the seeding runs and looked by far the slickest of the female riders through the technical middle section of the 2,200m course. But on finals day a couple of small errors cost her dearly as she finished 3.5 seconds down on Franc’s Sabrina Jonnier to take silver. A clearly disappointed Moseley told mbr: Obviously I’m really pleased to pick up a medal, because I’ve never won one at the Worlds before. But I’d been building up for this all season, riding really well, and a couple of wrong line choices have cost me the gold.
In her first full season racing elite — and only a year after being crowned junior world champion — Atherton added to her growing medal collection with a bronze. She said: I can’t believe it! It’s been an amazing couple of years for me and I never would have thought I’d make it onto the Worlds podium so quickly!
Results were more frustrating in the men’s event where Steve Peat — also leading his World Cup series — narrowly missed out again, claiming fourth spot by finishing 6.89 seconds behind young Aussie winner Sam Hill. Interestingly, Peaty’s final run was some 5.5 seconds slower than his second-placed seeding run, emphasising the effects of sporadic showers on some of the later starters.