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CX worlds: Evie Richards claims U-23 women’s victory

HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, Belgium (AFP) — British rider Evie Richards won the U-23 women’s race Saturday at cyclocross worlds in Belgium. Nicolas Noskova of the Czech Republic and Maud Kaptheijns of the Netherlands settled for the lower steps of the podium behind the 18-year-old, who spent much of the race riding solo off the front.

Richards is an accomplished mountain biker as well, but Saturday’s race was her first ever international ‘cross event.

“It feels amazing. I can’t believe it,” Richards said. “I missed out on the mountain bike world jersey so to get it in ‘cross in my first one it just feels amazing. And my mom and dad were watching today so I’m happy to make them proud watching me.”

Belgium’s Femke Van den Driessche, among the top favorites for the title, abandoned mid-race after several mechanical problems.