Britain's Richards wins silver in UCI Junior XCO Series

Britain's Richards wins silver in UCI Junior XCO Series

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Evie Richards started her UCI Junior XCO Series in style with a silver medal for the Great Britain Cycling Team at the opening round in Italy on Sunday.

The 18-year-old, part of the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme, rode powerfully to take her place on the junior women's podium behind winner Ida Jansson in Trofeo Delcar.

Richards, sixth in the junior race at last year’s world championships, crossed the line after one hour, eight minutes and 39 seconds - one minute and six seconds behind Jansson.

British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme coach Simon Watts said: “Evie rode strongly as we know she can.

“She continues to develop rapidly and still has huge amounts that will improve. We are pleased with the result but know that there are a lot of things that also need working on.”

Ella Connelly finished 31st.

"Ella had a real learning experience that will help hugely going forward," Watts said. 

In the junior men's race there was top-ten spot for Frazer Clacherty, in eighth while Thomas Craig was close behind in 11th with Mark McGuire 35th.

"Frazer and Tom rode excellent races, despite both looking the they were low on top end, and had more in the tank," watts said.

"Mark is up there with those two, and with better gridding and some small adjustments will be in that top 10 mix too. the three of them now need to believe they are in that company."

Third place for Dan Tullett in the youth race rounded off a superb weekend for Great Britain's mountain bike riders.

The second round of the series takes place in Haiming, Austria on 25 April.

"Overall I'm very pleased with the performances and points collected to start the season off," Watts said.

"It's been a very successful weekend, there have been some really important learning opportunities for the whole group.

"It's important to remember that these guys are on a development program. The most pleasing aspect of the trip has been the way they have responded to the challenges, and have looked to really progress with their individual objectives.

"We are back home racing in Plymouth next week , then roll on Austria."