Rachel Atherton’s hopes of retaining her downhill mountain bike World Cup title have suffered a serious setback.
Atherton ruptured an Achilles tendon as she prepared for the World Cup round in Les Gets, France at the weekend, with three rounds to follow.
Atherton said she was “absolutely devastated” in a social media post.
She added: “Not sure what’s going to happen but I’ll be going home tomorrow to get sorted out, just so gutted & upset.”
Atherton lies second in the 2019 title race after claiming a 39th career World Cup victory in Vallnord, Andorra last weekend.
She “landed super heavy” on the last flat jump and described the ankle injury as “insanely painful” and feeling “disgustingly strange”.
The series concludes in Snowshoe, United States on the weekend of 7 and 8 September.