British riders occupied four podium places at the sixth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Namur, Belgium, with Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Pidcock (Telenet-Fidea Lions) winning the elite women’s and under-23 men’s races respectively.
Richards had started her race well back on the grid, and steadily worked her way up through the field in extremely muddy conditions on what is widely considered to be one of the toughest races on the World Cup circuit.
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The 20-year-old broke clear of her rivals to finish with a 15-second margin over fellow British rider Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) and claim her first Elite World Cup victory. Italian Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) completed the podium.
“I’ve been off the bike for a bit doing some other training because I’ve had a bad knee,” 2016 under-23 women’s world champion Richards said after the win.
“I didn’t race yesterday and I was in two minds whether to race today because I’ve been injured, but I literally cannot believe it.
“I kept making mistakes on the last lap because I knew I was in front. It was so surreal I didn’t even think I’d get a top 10 today.”
Junior road race world champion Pidcock continued his run of outstanding results to claim the under-23 men’s race in a battle with Belgian Eli Iserbyt. Frenchman Lucas Dubau finished in third.
British junior rider Ben Tulett continued the nations sucess in Namur with third place in his race, behind Swiss rider Loris Rouiller and Dutchman Ryan Kamp.
The elite men’s race was won by Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles), who claimed the victory in convincing fashion by finishing over a minute ahead of fellow Belgian Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions). Mathieu Van Der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) was third.
The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup continues on December 26 with round seven in Heusden-Zolder, in Belgium.