Five-time Elite Downhill World Championship winner Rachel Atherton has set up a YouTube channel to document her return to the sport after some time out because of injury.

Atherton, who trains in Llangynog, has experienced highs of winning world championships and world cups during the past few years of her mountain-biking career, but has also experienced lows of spending time off the bike track after several injuries, one of which has kept her out of action for the past nine months.

Her return to the sport looks to have been further delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so with more spare time on her hands, she has launched the YouTube channel in a bid to show people through her highs and lows in the sport, and to inspire them to start riding bikes themselves.

She said: “The last few years have been a crazy whirlwind of head down graft, winning races and injuries, it’s so intense and I put myself under a lot of pressure to get those results.

“We used to film the Atherton Project back in the day, which was so fun, but it got too intense to film that way alongside racing.

“Because I’ve been injured for the last nine months I’ve had a lot of time to think, and then the coronavirus lockdown situation got me thinking even more.

“Suddenly I had the headspace away from racing, now I’m starting to ride again, to re-learn how to ride and get to grips with jumps and speed, it feels as if I’ve been reborn after my injury, everything feels so good.

“I found myself wanting to start my own channel to film what I get up to in a super chilled way, giving an insight in to my life with all the ups and downs.

“I want to share the life of Dyfi Bike Park and how Dan builds there, Atherton Bikes as it unfolds, racing when it starts again, and just to inspire people to ride bikes, to work through the setbacks.”

This is something new to Atherton, who has never had a YouTube account before, and she hopes it will help her learn new skills.

“For me personally, I wanted to have a new challenge in my life and to learn new skills,” she explained.

“So I am editing it all myself, which is terrifying and scary but as a downhill racer all I’ve ever done is focussed on training and racing, so this is totally out of my comfort zone – I didn’t even have a YouTube account before now.

“I feel ever more inspired by the messages, emails and photos that we get from people around the world that we’ve connected to through racing.

“People send us pics or stories of their life, or pics of them or their kids riding bikes, so I wanted to give something to those kids and people that was entertaining and engaging, and hopefully inspiring, to create something more real than one photo on Instagram – so here we are!

“The least technically-minded bike racer ever has started a YouTube channel.

“Please share, subscribe and let me know in the comments if you like it, and what you would like to see me film next.”

Atherton’s YouTube account can be found at