Downhill mountain biking is no joke. The riders have to tackle courses littered with roots, rocks and jumps all with the added pressure of having to race against the clock.
It won’t come as a surprise then that injuries are a common sight on a downhill track. Even Rachel Atherton, the most successful British downhill racer ever and current World Champion, has her fair share of war wounds from this unforgiving sport.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
In this video, Atherton shows us the scars she has picked up in her racing career. Her most prominent one is from a surgery in which a nerve was taken out of her leg and re-inserted it into her left shoulder. This has given Atherton 60 per cent muscle function in a deltoid that was otherwise useless. Apparently she has photos of the whole procedure, but we’re pretty sure we’d rather not see them.
She also had a bone graft on her right shoulder after it had dislocated numerous times. This was a keyhole procedure though, so the scars are much smaller than on her left shoulder.
Rachel claims her worst injury was when she shattered her little finger at the first World Cup of the year in 2010. Despite the pain, she still decided to race and even ended up winning.