Downhill legend Rachel Atherton has added to her amazing year by being crowned BT’s Action Woman of 2016.

>>> Martyn Ashton wins Pride of Sport Award

In a glittering ceremony broadcast live last night and hosted by Clare Balding and Gary Lineker, Atherton took the top spot away from previous favourite Charlotte Dujardin OBE, the Olympic dressage horse-dancer.

In a very impressive podium, third place went to Maddie Hinch, the goalie for Team GB’s hockey squad.

For a mountain biker to win such a coveted and hotly contested award is fantastic. For a mountain biker to win the award in an Olympic year is just unbelievably excellent.

The way Atherton’s year has gone, don’t expect to win any Christmas cracker pulls against Rachel this year.

Atherton was clearly surprised to win and in an excited acceptance speech said: “Mountain biking … is so fantastic, it’s so exciting… it needs to be on the TV, everyone needs to try it … it’s just great and hopefully this goes a little way to show that all the young girls out there… all the crashes, it doesn’t matter.. ride your bike ideally… but do any sport”.