Women with varying experience levels participated, hauling their bikes uphill to the race start. Atherton, who hails from Wells in the UK, shouted encouragement as she passed them: "Go girls! Get your brakes off!" and "Nice, nice!" and "Pedal, pedal, pedal!"
Rosie Holdsworth was the first to reach the finish line with a time of 3:44.870. Atherton passed 144 racers to come in 80th place a little bit later, Dirt Magazine reported. While that might not sound impressive, the moment she says, "Oh no I've got a puncture!" in the point-of-view video, I wondered if she would be able to finish at all.
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In the Rio Olympics, I remember watching cycling champ Peter Sagan lose what had been a very promising start in the mountain biking event when he got a tire puncture. It was intensely frustrating to see. Other mechanical problems ultimately knocked him -- and several others -- out of the competition.
Clearly this was different. Atherton sped down a fairly short, mostly downhill course whereas the longer, grueling Olympic course required numerous laps. The Foxhunt's mass start did make for tight passing, though. Judging from their speeds over the thick grass, these ladies really did take the brakes off.