Rachel Atherton has joined British Cycling’s Mountain Bike Gravity Commission – a group that advises the governing body on its polices.
The committee meets four times a year to provide advice and feedback for British Cycling’s board and senior management team.
In total, British Cycling has ten commissions, covering assorted disciplines, as well as a commissaires and referees commission, a technical commission and a sport ethics commission.
The news comes not long after the UCI made changes to Downhill MTB regulations, that see the women’s field reduced from 20 to 15 – a rule change that upset many riders.
Notably, Atherton's appointment has been announced just one week after Nicole Cooke accused British Cycling of being "a sport for men, by men." The announcement also comes amid rumours that the governing body is soon to release an independent review report so damning that they've hired spin doctors to help protect their reputation.
"I’m really passionate about getting new people, especially more women, into the sport so this will also be a focus for me." - Rachel Atherton
Commenting on her appointment, Rachel Atherton said: “I love my sport and I want to ensure that it is protected and nurtured so that the discipline can continue to flourish. It’s really important to make sure that the commission has a mix of people working in the sport and I will be putting forward lots of ideas. I’m really passionate about getting new people, especially more women, into the sport so this will also be a focus for me."
Commission Chair Alasdair MacLennan said: “We’re thrilled to have Rachel joining the commission. Not only is she a fantastic role model for the sport, she is also personally very motivated by making the sport as accessible and appealing as possible. I am looking forward to hearing her thoughts about the future of the discipline."
We look forward to seeing Atherton's impact on the sport and on decision making around mountain biking and its events.