Richards finally on the top step of the podium.

Evie Richards has won her first under-23 XCO World Cup over in Albstadt, Germany. Her victory was earned principally by sheer domination of the climbs.

>>> Why XC racing is now must see

Richards started the race alongside America’s Kate Courtney and it was Courtney who initially took s seven second lead in the opening pre-loop stage of the race. But once the race joined the circuit proper, the tables were quickly turned and Richards amassed a lead over Courtney of more than 20 seconds.

How the race unfolded

Richards’ race was from over nor indeed simple. She had to overcome a puncture but thanks to some cunning cagey riding and some quick pits works, she was over a minute ahead by the halfway point.

She cooled down a little in the closing stages of the race and rode well within herself and ended up finishing 52 seconds ahead of Courtney. Richards also took the prize for completing the fastest lap of the whole race.

Evie Richards has been on the podium before but never in the top spot. Richards has been runner-up in various World Cup races a total of three times before – including the previous round in Czech Republic – so it’s really pleasing to see her finally step it up on to the winner’s spot.

Top of the international ranking

This win takes her to joint top in the international ranking. She shares the spot with Courtney. There are four races remaining in the World Cup series.

The next round of the UCI XCO World Cup is on July 1st-2nd in Vallnord, Andorra.

Richards is an alumni of British Cycling’s Senior Academy and let’s hope that her success finally kickstarts some proper support for cross country mountain biking over at BC HQ.