News: Double Victory for GB in Namur

There were sensational victories for Evie Richards and Tom Pidcock in Namur (Belgium) at the latest round of the World Cup CycloCross on Sunday and a podium for Ben Tulett

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News: Double Victory for GB in Namur

Former Women’s under 23 World Champion, Evie Richards was a sensational winner of the Women’s event in a 1-2 with Nikki Brammeier. It was Evie’s first World Cup CX win at Elite level. Nikki Brammeier meanwhile finished fifteen seconds short of the win.

Eva Lechner and Katie Keough led the way from the start line, but by the time Lechner crossed the finish line for the first time after the opening section, she had managed top open a seven-second lead.

Brammeier, in the meantime, had caught Keough and was on her way to the leader in the race. Lechner and Brammeier led the race at the start of the second of four laps, with Katie Compton on their heels. She joined the two riders not much later.

As the three riders attacked each other, a fourth rider joined the front, 20-year-old Richards, the 2016 Under 23 World Champion. Gaps started to appear between the leading quartet, with the young Brit taking the lead. She had a ten-second advantage on Brammeier as she was given the bell for the final lap. Richards was never out of sight for Brammeier, who in turn remained in sight of Compton and Lechner.

Whilst we haven’t seen a lot of Evie racing ‘cross this year, her skills during the race at Namur were undeniable as was her strength in the leg sapping conditions. The British rider was showing just how much of the perfect package she is off road with not just the riding and the running, but handling the slippery conditions as well. After the win, Evie said on Twitter, “I am actually speechless! Today I took my first elite World Cup win and it feels incredible, I can’t believe it!”

In her post race interview, Evie explained “I didn’t race yesterday, and was in two minds to race today because I have been injured; I literally cannot believe I it.”

“I kept making mistakes on the last lap because I knew I was in front and I it was so surreal. I didn’t even think I would get a top 10 today so gosh, I am so happy. All my family are here so it was a good race for them to watch.”

“I started quite far back because of my gridding because I haven’t been racing and I got caught up in a few little crashes and stuff and had to have a bike change on the first lap but I was trying to move up like I did in the world champs a few years ago and didn’t know where I was. Then I came through and I heard ‘Evie Richards in 4th’ I couldn’t believe it. I just wanted to keep moving up and when I overtook Katie Crompton, I was like wow, I just couldn’t believe it, and then once I got to the front, I just wanted to keep pushing on harder.”

Asked about the off camber, Evie explained “I’m not very good at it but it was a lot of fun but I just need to practice it. I have been doing a bit of running so all the hills and that, they’re my favourite so it was a really good course.” And finally, on whether she will go pro tomorrow to tackle the Womens World Championship , Evie replied excitedly, “no no, we’ll go home tomorrow and see what’s happening and think about that another time”….

Brammeier meanwhile said on her team’s website (Boels Dolman) “I can’t be disappointed. I’m actually super happy for Evie. It just shows that the sport is growing so much. I just love the fact that she’s on the podium today, standing on the top position.”

“I loved every second of today’s race,” Brammeier said. “I’m proud of the Brits coming through this sport. I rode for Sharon Laws today, my friend who died of cancer yesterday. I really had her in my thoughts this weekend. And both days I gave everything I could.”

“I’m happy with second,” Brammeier concluded. “It was super good for the sport. I know everybody back home watches these races. Me, Evie and Helen Wyman and all the British girls that are coming through; be careful Belgium, we are coming!”

Helen Wyman meanwhile said the race today for her was a bit of a disaster. “I had an alright start, nothing special and then got t-boned by a rider on the descent and then my rear hanger broke. Eventually I got to the second pit after losing loads of places and I had to work hard to get back. It is a tough race and it was only 38 minutes today which is a shame as I was catching another four riders and if the race had been minimum distance, I think I could have possibly got into the top 10”.

1. Evie Richards (GBr) 38:49
2. Nikki Brammeier (GBr) @ 15
3. Eva Lechner (Ita) @ 24
4. Katherine Compton (USA) @ 34
5. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) @ 1:06

12. Sanne Cant (Bel) @ 2:04
15. Helen Wyman (GBr)
31. Ffion James (GBr) @ 4:14
39. Bethany Crumpton (GBr) @ 06:05
46. Anna Kay (GBr)
50. Emily Wadsworth (GBr) @ 7:25
51. Sophie Thackray (GBr) @ 7:59

Victory for Tom Pidcock
After a month away from racing, Tom Pidcock showed that what ever training he’d been doing, it kept him in tip top shape for the cross racing. The 18-year-old Otley rider beat Eli Iserbyt.

The race for Tom started cautiously and lap by lap he kept gaining positions, and by halfway, was at the front in a two way battle with European champion Eli Iserbyt, the very same rider who shut the door when Tom had been sprinting for the European stripes.

On the penultimate lap, Tom sprinted to a solo victory and showed yet again what a brilliant and exciting talent he is not just in cross but the road too. “It was a hard race” he explains on his team’s website, “and I did not feel very good at the start. Gradually though, I was able to make the junction with the leader Iserbyt who was stronger on a number of sections but I felt better on other passages when Iserbyt switched bikes. For the last lap, I got the decisive gap.”

“I love this course. I rode my best junior race here last year and during the last training period, I concentrated on longer training sessions in the south of France. Only once did I touch my cross bike and in the last week, I wanted to focus more on intensity, but I got some problems with my knee after a fall on a step at my apartment, so I could not train perfectly.”

1. Thomas Pidcock (GBr)
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel)
3. Lucas Dubau (Fra)

25. Daniel Tulett (GBr)
27. Ben Turner (GBr)
36. Frazer Clacherty (GBr)

DNF Thomas Mein (GBr)
DNF Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)
DNF Cameron Orr (GBr)

In other results, Ben Tullet continued to show he’s able to match the best juniors in Europe with a fine podium whilst Scotland’s Sean Flynn was in a great 5th place. In 45th was Callum Macleod whilst Jenson Young was a DNF.





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