Richards takes super silver at final round of UCI XCO Junior Series

Richards takes super silver at final round of UCI XCO Junior Series

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Great Britain Cycling Team’s Evie Richards was in excellent form as she won silver with her third podium finish of the UCI XCO Junior Series on Saturday in France.

The 18-year-old British Cycling Olympic Junior Academy rider, who finished on the podium in Austria and Germany, was one minute and 24 seconds behind winner Martina Berta in Montgenevre.

Ffion James took an excellent 10th place and Ella Conolly an encouraging 16th.

“The fact she is disappointed with it shows how far she has come this year,” said Great Britain coach Simon Watts of Richards.

“However on such a technical track, when she is still recovering from a broken arm, following a big block of work, we take a lot of positives from it.

“Ffion needs real credit for her first ever top-10 world cup finish. She is technically very good, and has solid foundations to build from going forward.

“Like Ffion, Ella rode technically excellently and that is by far the best performance from her I have seen in competition. A top 20 and her first UCI points, should be another step to build from going into this winter.”

Junior men

Frazer Clacherty was Britain’s highest finisher in 14th after a disappointing start scuppered his chances of a top-ten finish.

William Gascoyne took 16th and Mark Mcguire 23rd after a broken saddle forced a pit stop.

A snapped chain gave Tom Craig a tough race though he fought on bravely for 60th.

“With the junior men, it once again felt like a case of almosts,” Watts said.

“They have been beating the lads on the podium in previous rounds,and across the series there has been nothing between the top 12 to 15 riders in the world.

“They have just been mixing up the order each time. You need to put all parts together and we are at the front of that group not the back.

“Overall I'm satisfied with the racing this weekend with some really positive points. We knew it was going to be challenging coming in off the back of a hard 10-day training camp, however the extremely challenging course and weather conditions have only amplified that.

“But my role as a coach isn’t just to get performances from riders, it's to develop them to be better long term.

“At times that means challenging them and putting them outside of their comfort zone, there has been good opportunity to do that on this trip and they will all become better for it.”

The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are next for Britain’s junior riders and take place in Vallnord, Andorra from 31 August-6 September.