Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Rachael Archer has taken her first win racing America’s prestigious Grand National Cross-Country Championship in WXC class Round 8 at High Voltage this weekend. Under hot, dry and dusty track conditions, Rachael showed everyone- her rivals, her peers, fans and spectators that the 18 year old from New Zealand is in-it to win.
Making her debut season in 2019 racing under AmPro Yamaha Team, Rachael confirmed her place amongst the best Women Cross-Country riders America and Australia has racing taking the win by 59 seconds- a margin unmatched this season.
Following a string of podiums this season- 3rd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 2nd and 1st- Rachael has broken the back of proving she can beat her rivals on the track all the way to the chequered, having clocked the 9.5 mile lap race in 2 hours 12 minutes and 41 seconds.
Rachael: ‘The track was 9.5 miles long, dusty as hell and really rooty so I knew I had to get out the front quickly to stay out of the dust, which I did’.
‘I was in the lead by lap 1 and pulled 20 seconds on second place. Becca caught me on lap 3 and I looked over my shoulder to see how far away she was and she was right beside me!
‘I sent it and rode as fast as I could making a lot of sketchy passes around lap riders to try dust her out and get some lap riders between us. And sure enough I managed to pull away from her and put 59 seconds on her!
‘I started to cry on the last lap I was so happy. I had to tell myself to get my shit together so I didn’t make a mistake or something hahah. I rode a great race and no crashes which was awesome’.
If there is something special about Rachael it is her fierce competitive spirit- which in 1 and half GNCC WXC seasons has been 2 things- anxious that she wants to achieve so much and bonus that she can draw on when timing is right.
And, today was the day- timed to perfection Rachael stuck to her mental strength, bike skills, fitness programme and healthy-well-being routine to bring it home for the win.
Bet that sent wake-up call to the rest!
Catch up with Rachael on TVNZ Sports News tonight, 6.45pm.