Commonwealth Games medallists Evie Richards and Annie Last both showed off their powers of recovery on the Italian hills at the UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup in Val di Sole.
Richards, who won cross country silver on Australia’s Gold Coast earlier this year, got her women’s under-23 title challenge back on track with a fine second-placed finish.
Meanwhile, Last, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games, was caught up in the chaos caused by an early crash in the women’s elite race but battled back to secure 17th.
Evie's Rich pickings
Richards got back in the hunt after a fruitless endeavour last time out.
The 21-year-old, reigning UCI Cyclo-Cross world champion, had failed to get on the championship scoreboard in round three in Nové Město na Morave but she roared back to secure her third podium finish of 2018.
Richards was unable to get the better of Switzerland’s Sina Frei, who notched up her third successive stage victory in a time of 1:01:08 but was just 26 seconds behind in 1:01:34.
Richards stays third in the overall standings, with Frei top of the pile and Denmark’s Malene Degn second.
Meanwhile, Isla Short (1:03:30) recorded her best result of the season so far by finishing fourth, a result that lifts her up to ninth in the standings.
Annie is built to Last
In the women’s elite race, Last lined up in the front row but a heavy crash caused a major roadblock, allowing a leading group to steal a march on the rest of the competition.
The 27-year-old found herself all the way back in 29th at the end of the first lap but gritted her teeth and managed to scrap back into the top 20.
Last eventually clawed her way back to 17th, moving up to 11th in the overall standings in the process.
Meanwhile, fellow Brits Kerry MacPhee and Heidi Gould finished 55th and 68th respectively.
Frazer's steady progress
In the men's elite race, Grant Ferguson was 53rd whilst in the men’s Under-23 category, Frazer Clacherty remains just outside the series top-20 after an 18th-placed finish.
The 20-year-old, who was fifth in the men’s cross country at this year’s Commonwealth Games, came home in 1:19:24.