RACHEL Atherton could become the most decorated world champion in downhill mountain bike history this week.

The 30 year old Powys based rider won a record sixth World Cup title last month and victory on the slopes of Lenzerheide in Switzerland on Sunday would be enough to seal a fifth World Championship

Atherton has been the Queen of world downhill racing for a decade with her win or bust attitude ensuring her a trove of silverware and a place in the record books.

“Most people either win or crash. No one really cares about second place,” said Atherton.

“I’m physically sick at least a couple of times on race day. I think it’s my body’s way of getting ready and letting me know I’m going into war, so it’s that fight or flight mode.

“I expect a lot from myself, and that, over the years, has become more and more. The more injuries you get, the more you become aware of the consequences so that adds up to one big ball of pressure.”

Atherton has overcome injury to be top of her field and despite being among the oldest racers she has no plans to slow down.

“It does take slightly longer to recover and warm up in the mornings but that’s counteracted with the experience I’ve got from racing for so long.”

“I ride perhaps a more calculated race now, and over the years that seems to have paid off.”

Atherton heads to Switzerland with confidence following her sixth World Cup triumph in France last month.

“Looking back, I didn’t really know it was going to be an historic number six, no-one had ever done that before,” said Atherton. “It’s an achievement that has spanned 10 years, from when I won my first World Cup title in 2008.

“When I think about that, with all the injuries I’ve had in between, it’s incredible really. I never set out with that goal in mind as a kid.”

Atherton described the World Championship finale as a huge race.

“It’s weird to have one race that means so much,” said Atherton. “The whole year adds up to the World Cup title and then this one race in one afternoon.”