Annie Last and Isla Short were among the eye-catching finishers in the penultimate cross country races of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season, on what was a sterling day all-round for British riders in Lenzerheide.
Solid top-20 finishes in the elite women’s race were backed up by several encouraging rides in the U23 men’s and women’s events, with Evie Richards and Cameron Orr both coming home in the top 10.
With just one meet of the season to come, GB’s racers seem to be hitting form at the optimum time, with final standings truly shaping up.
Annie and Isla team up
Last and Short kept up their stellar seasons with almost neck-and-neck 13th and 14th-place finishes in the elite women’s race in the Swiss woodlands.
Just two seconds separated the GB duo, with Last coming in marginally ahead in a time of 1:26.07, 4m 58s behind race winner Jenny Rissveds.
Both riders left it late to spring their move, Last leapfrogging Chiara Teocchi and Lill Candice in the latter half of the final lap to seal 13th, with Short following suit but unable to catch her compatriot as Last edged the battle.
Elsewhere, Amy-Jo Hansford finished 64th in a competitive field.
Richards on the up
Rising star Evie Richards once again underlined her impressive credentials with a standout ninth-place finish in the women’s U23 event to earn a crucial 24 points towards her overall total.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist arrived in Lenzerheide with an outstanding recent record in world cup competitions and three podiums on the spin to her name.
And though she could not make it four, yet another top-10 placing keeps up her chase for an overall podium finish for the world cup season, with the last event set for the United States and Snowshoe in September.
Richards finished the day in 1:12.22, 2m 53s back from gold medallist Martina Berta, leaving her 17 points shy of the Italian, who sits third overall for the campaign.
Orr keeps up the streak
After catching the eye with an eighth-place in Val di Sole during the last world cup meet, youngster Cameron Orr notched up yet another top 10 in Switzerland to keep him on track for a strong conclusion to his season.
The 20-year-old went one better than his Italian adventure with a sixth-place finish, coming home in 1:10.26, just 1m 26s behind winner Filippo Colombo, and marginally ahead of compatriot Frazer Clacherty in 14th.
Thirty points earned towards his season standings, Orr is sitting pretty as he looks set to wrap up a top-20 position overall.
Elsewhere, in the senior men’s race, sole British rider Grant Ferguson was 59th.