Now this is a story I’ve wanted to write for a long time! Manon Carpenter has won the first World Cup of 2014 and her first ever elite World Cup.
By her own admission she’s been chasing Rachel since she stepped out of junior. With 2nd place after 2nd place at home and abroad it was (she told us) pretty frustrating – it must be a huge boost to finally get a chance to step on top of the box. We said in our last issue that Manon is one of the most talented racers in British mountain biking and she has finally proved us wrong, she’s proved that she is one of the most talented racers in the WORLD.
Of course, you can’t ignore Rachel Atherton’s disadvantage this weekend. She fell ill on the plane to South Africa and was flat on her ass with a virus by the start of practice. With a solid but very un-Rachel qualifying result it was obvious she wasn’t on form. It was obviously on Manon’s mind and in one of the preview videos she mentioned that she was hoping Rach felt better so it would be a “fair race”. But – that’s racing – and a win is as much about being fit, healthy and well prepared as it is about going fast. Manon was the rider that hit the start line healthiest, fittest and fastest and that’s why I think she’s the fair and square winner.
Whilst we’re all big fans of Rach here at Wideopenmag – we’d love to see Manon really shine in 2014. She’s made a great start in South Africa and confidence makes racers go fast. Can she keep building on South Africa and shake off the curse of 2nd place? I hope so.
We’re all absolutely bloody stoked for her – well done girl!
Read our interview with Manon in issue 23 of Wideopenmag online below or order a print copy here.