Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) will undergo surgery in January to correct a knee injury she sustained while on a trip in Girona, Spain. The British rider will be forced to end her cyclo-cross season early and skip her under-23 title defences at both the British National Championships and the World Championships.
"Unfortunately it means my cross season is over for this year, and I’m so sad to say I won’t be able to try and defend my National or World Championship title,” Richards wrote in a post on Instagram.
Richards won the under-23 national titles for the previous three editions of the event from 2016-2018. She was expected to go for her fourth consecutive title at the 2019 British Championships held from January 12 and 13 at the Cyclopark in Gravesend.
She is also a double under-23 world champion, winning the first-ever edition of the category at 2016 World Championships in Heusden-Zolder. She won the title again at the 2018 World Championships in Valkenburg. She was aiming to defend her title at the upcoming World Championships on February 2 and 3 in in Bogense, Denmark.
This season, Richards was second at the World Cup in Iowa City and fourth in Waterloo, 15th in Tabor and 9th in Koksijde. She was not able to start Namur because of the injury to her knee and lost the lead in the series' under-23 category.
Richards signed with the newly formed Trek Factory Racing team, which was announced in September. The new team brought together current Trek athletes Richards and Ellen Noble for the elite category, as well as Trek Cyclo-cross Collective graduate Emma Swartz, who will focus on U23 events in the US and abroad. The team also recently announced signing Jolanda Neff, who will competes in mountain biking, cyclo-cross and road.