First UCI Mountain Bike World Cup win for Richards

First UCI Mountain Bike World Cup win for Richards

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Great Britain Cycling Team's Evie Richards won her first-ever UCI Mountain Bike World Cup under-23 women's race with a sensational performance in Germany.

The Senior Academy rider - three times a runner-up in world cup races, including last week in the Czech Republic - dominated over the climbs in Albstadt to secure her first win.

Starting in the front row, alongside early world cup series leader Kate Courtney of the United States and Switzerland's Sina Frei, Richards saw her American rival take an early lead over the opening loop section.

But as soon as the course reached the main circuit, Richards showed her skills, closing a seven second gap to have a lead of more than 20 seconds after one lap.

From there, despite suffering a flat tyre during the course of the race, the win never looked in doubt for the young rider from Malvern, who stretched her lead to over a minute by the halfway mark.

Richards powered home to cross the line in South Germany in 1:23:17 - 52 seconds clear of Courtney and having delivered the fastest final lap of any rider in the field.

Fellow British rider Isla Short, representing OMX Pro Team, finished 18th, 9:29 behind Richards, while her Great Britain Cycling Team colleague Ella Conolly showed great form to finish 44th - a strong performance after illness cut short her race in Nove Mesto one week earlier.

The win sees Richards move to first in the world cup rankings, albeit tied on points with Kate Courtney with four of the six races remaining.

In the elite women's race, British rider Annie Last (OMX Pro Team) finished 19th with Ukraine's Yana Belomoina taking the win while Switzerland's Nino Schurter won the men's elite race - Britain's Grant Ferguson (CST Sandd American Eagle Mountainbike Team) finished 49th.