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MTB Worlds: Evie Richards wins women's Cross-country title

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Evie Richards, Great Britain's first ever MTB XC World Champion

Evie Richards, Great Britain's first ever MTB XC World Champion (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Evie Richards, Great Britain's first ever MTB XC World Champion

Evie Richards, Great Britain's first ever MTB XC World Champion (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Evie Richards (Great Britain)

Evie Richards (Great Britain) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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L to r: Anne Terpstra, Evie Richards, Sina Frei

L to r: Anne Terpstra, Evie Richards, Sina Frei (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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L to r: Anne Terpstra, Evie Richards, Sina Frei

L to r: Anne Terpstra, Evie Richards, Sina Frei (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Rebecca McConnell (Australia) leading Maja Wloszczowska (Poland), Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) and Sina Frei (Switzerland)

Rebecca McConnell (Australia) leading Maja Wloszczowska (Poland), Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) and Sina Frei (Switzerland) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Evie Richards (Great Britain) starts the last lap

Evie Richards (Great Britain) starts the last lap (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) leading the chase group of McConnell, Neff, Wloszczowska, Frei

Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) leading the chase group of McConnell, Neff, Wloszczowska, Frei (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Evie Richards (Great Britain) leading Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)

Evie Richards (Great Britain) leading Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) leading Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) and Maja Wloszczowska (Poland)

Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) leading Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) and Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)

Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Early race leader Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)

Early race leader Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Sina Frei sprints ahead of Jolanda Neff

Sina Frei sprints ahead of Jolanda Neff (Image credit: Rob Jones)
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DUST at 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

Dust at 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships (Image credit: Rob Jones)

Evie Richards became the first-ever British world champion - male or female - in the elite cross-country at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy, after a dominating performance in the women's race. Behind her, Anne Terpstra recorded the first-ever podium appearance for a Dutch woman, and the best result for the Netherlands since Bart Brentjens won the men's world title in 1995. The powerhouse Swiss team had to settle for a bronze medal from Sina Frei.

Despite weather forecasts all week calling for rain and temperatures in the mid-teens, race day was warm and sunny, with only a few drops of rain falling. The hot, dry conditions turned the course into a blown-out, rutted dust bowl.

Defending world champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France jumped into the lead at the end of the start loop, opening a significant gap on the first lap over a chase group containing Richards, Frei, Olympic champion Jolanda Neff (Switzerland), Terpstra, Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) and Rebecca McConnell (Australia). By the end of the first lap, Ferrand Prevot was over half a minute clear, but Richards wasn't happy with the situation and dropped the rest of the chasers to join her French rival by the end of the second lap.

Richards didn't pause after catching Ferrand Prevot, motoring away on the steep climbs to a 38-second lead by the end of the third lap. Ferrand Prevot was fading (eventually finishing sixth), and was caught by Terpstra early in the penultimate fourth lap, who had dropped the remaining chasers to go off in solo pursuit.

Richards continued to extend her lead through the rest of the race - faster on both the climbs and descents - to win by over a minute. Frei and Neff rode together in the bronze medal battle until the final metres of the race, with Frei, the Olympic silver medalist, beating Neff in a sprint.

"Today I'm not sure how much tactics played a part," said Richards, "because I just rode at the front. I was pleased that I got a good start, that was the main thing, and then it was just about keeping calm. In that sense, I had the perfect race and didn't make any mistakes. I didn't want to get sucked into [Pauline's] fast start, because then I wouldn't be able to recover; it's a very hard course. I saw that in the Junior race early, with some riders going out too quick. It paid off, I think."

Terpstra echoed Richards' comments: "I think I kind of had the same tactic as Evie, but I didn't make a really good start [in the start loop] and I had to come from further behind. If you do a smooth race here and take good lines in the technical sections then you can go far, and I think that is what brought me this medal."

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evie Richards (Great Britain) 1:23:52
2Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) 0:01:03
3Sina Frei (Switzerland) 0:01:08
4Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)
5Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 0:01:47
6Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:02:35
7Rebecca Mcconnell (Australia) 0:02:45
8Anne Tauber (Netherlands) 0:02:56
9Malene Degn (Denmark) 0:03:17
10Alessandra Keller (Switzerland) 0:03:20
11Nina Benz (Germany) 0:03:54
12Linda Indergand (Switzerland) 0:04:13
13Lena Gerault (France) 0:04:23
14Isla Short (Great Britain) 0:04:41
15Sophie Von Berswordt (Netherlands) 0:05:09
16Janika Lõiv (Estonia) 0:05:57
17Nadine Rieder (Germany) 0:06:04
18Yana Belomoina (Ukraine)
19Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Poland) 0:06:08
20Martina Berta (Italy) 0:06:33
21Greta Seiwald (Italy)
22Catharine Pendrel (Canada) 0:06:48
23Kate Courtney (United States Of America) 0:06:50
24Eva Lechner (Italy)
25Sandra Walter (Canada) 0:07:01
26Haley Batten (United States Of America) 0:07:21
27Kristina Ilina (Russian Federation) 0:07:43
28Ramona Forchini (Switzerland) 0:08:01
29Githa Michiels (Belgium) 0:08:09
30Candice Lill (South Africa) 0:08:21
31Annie Last (Great Britain) 0:08:35
32Jana Czeczinkarová (Czech Republic) 0:08:43
33Kelsey Urban (United States Of America) 0:08:49
34Steffi Häberlin (Switzerland) 0:09:04
35Barbara Benkó (Hungary) 0:09:12
36Hannah Finchamp (United States Of America) 0:09:31
37Chiara Teocchi (Italy) 0:09:44
38Tanja Žakelj (Slovenia) 0:10:03
39Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Netherlands) 0:10:17
40Jitka Čábelická (Czech Republic) 0:10:26
41Elisabeth Osl (Austria) 0:10:31
42Nicole Koller (Switzerland) 0:10:37
43Laurie Arseneault (Canada) 0:10:41
44Lotte Koopmans (Netherlands) 0:10:47
45Tereza Tvarůžková (Czech Republic) 0:11:32
46Jennifer Jackson (Canada) 0:12:30
47Paula Gorycka (Poland) 0:12:56
48Cindy Montambault (Canada) 0:13:36
49Emily Batty (Canada)
50Janka Keseg Stevkova (Slovakia)
51Viktoria Kirsanova (Russian Federation)
52Mariske Strauss (South Africa)
53Faranak Partoazar (Islamic Republic of Iran)
54Naama Noyman (Israel)
55Leticia Jaqueline Soares Candido (Brazil)
56Maria Trinidad Moreno Camus (Chile)
57Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)
DNFEvelyn Muñoz Jaramillo (Chile)
DNFLinn Gustafzzon (Sweden)
DNFHaley Smith (Canada)
DNSJenny Rissveds (Sweden)
DNSLea Davison (United States Of America)
DNSJosefina Casadey (Argentina)

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