Rachel Atherton poses at the UCI MTB World Championships  Photo: Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

We’re always delighted to see action sports getting the recognition they deserve so we were utterly over the moon to see mountain bike queen, Rachel Atherton, crowned the first ever BT Sport Action Woman of the Year.

The downhill mountain biker was up against a pretty impressive line-up of nine other sportswomen including England footballer Natasha Dowie who came second, and world Triathlon champion who came in third place. Though Atherton admitted she didn't fancy her chances she topped the public poll and won the inaugural award which recognises the athlete who has done most to further women in sport in the past year.

In 2013 alone, 26-year-old Atherton won both the World Cup Series and the World Championships performing imperiously throughout. She won four of the six World Cup stages and only missed out on a podium finish once during the season.

rachel atherton tweet

rachel atherton tweet

Atherton's combination of iron nerves and incredible skill that has seen her become the most awarded British mountain biker in the history of the sport with a gob-smacking 19 world cup wins to her name. Maybe the fact that both her brothers are world champion racers that keeps her so matter of fact and relaxed about her immense success.

There is no doubt that the Atherton family – Rachel’s two brothers Dan and Gee also have a host of accolades to their name – have been instrumental in bringing downhill mountain biking into the limelight and we cannot wait to see what they have in store for 2014.