Number 30: Gee Atherton
Last year’s position: N/A
It doesn’t get much more commanding than this. Gee (George) Atherton – the middle Atherton in a remarkablet trilogy, sandwiched between his older brother Dan and younger sister Rachel – was not out of the top three in the downhill World Cup all season.
After a second place in the opening round at Maribor, Slovenia, Atherton won his ‘home’ round at Fort William. That was the third World Cup downhill win of his career and set him on the path to the overall title.
Second place in Austria, another couple of wins in Champery, Switzerland and at Windham in the US, and third – astonishingly his worst World Cup finish of the season – at Val di Sole in Italy clinched the World Cup title for the first time.
He’s only the second British rider to win it – after Steve Peat – but it was Atherton’s consistency that really impressed. In a discipline where a moment’s lapse of concentration or the tiniest of miscalculations can cost half a dozen places, to finish in the top three all season is remarkable.
Cycling Weekly’s Top British Riders of 2010 advent calendar: We will reveal one rider per day behind the virtual doors of our sparkly advent calendar from Wednesday December 1 to Christmas Eve, Friday December 24. The top eight will then be revealed in Cycling Weekly magazine’s final issue of the year, which will be in the shops on December 30 2010.