Evie Richards and Riley Amos dominate World Cup Day 2 in Brazil

Track Factory Racing-Pirelli XC is off to a blistering start to the World Cup season

You could not have asked for a better start to the season. Evie Richards won the first XC World Cup short track race of the season in Mairiporã, Brazil, with a powerful effort that shot her rivals out the back of her wake. What was expected to be a sprint finish became a 7-second victory, even after Richards coasted the last few meters while she celebrated. 

After the race, Richards was just as blown away by her performance as we were watching it. 

“Yeah, what was that? I don’t even know,” Richards said. “I’m not really sure, but it was so hot, I couldn’t really think. But when Kate [Courtney] attacked, I decided if everyone was going to attack, either go with them and die or don’t try at all.”

Evie popping champagne for the first time this season.

Richards followed when American rider Kate Courtney attacked on the fourth of seven laps in an attempt to break free. Courtney successfully winnowed the field, but she also inadvertently launched Richards, who simply kept going after the acceleration died down and never looked back.

Richards credited her father for helping her get into strong early season form.

“Dad’s been on the ebike with me and he’s been motorpacing me,” Richards said. “So shout out to dad for making me strong and powerful, making me really happy this year to push that hard.”

Evie and Jolanda Neff grinding on a hot day.

Richards highlighted an excellent stretch of short track racing for the whole squad. Madigan Munro kicked things off with a second place finish Friday, matching her best placing ever in a World Cup event. Then Riley Amos followed up with a big win, besting Dario Lillo by two seconds. Amos has now won two World Cup short track races in his career, joining his effort in Snowshoe last year.

Can’t freaking believe it,” Amos wrote on Instagram after the race. “Just a big thank you to everyone behind this!”

With short track done, it's time for XCO racing on Sunday!

The rest of TFR XC’s elite contingent outside of Richards had strong efforts in what was full-gas racing. Jolanda Neff and Gwendalyn Gibson finished 14th and 15th, respectively. In the men’s race, Vlad Dascalu was 17th and Anton Cooper was 36th. 

Sunday’s Olympic-distance racing on a hot, hilly course should be stunning.

Riley Amos and Bjorn Riley celebrating a 1-2 podium for Trek racers.

Riley Amos is not messing around

One day after winning the first U23 World Cup men’s short track of the season, Riley Amos came right back the next day and completed his first career World Cup double. Just nine seconds behind him, Trek Future Racing’s Bjorn Riley finished second. The two Colorado natives have been racing each other since the start of their careers, and together they capped a banner day for Trek.

Amos asserted himself on the third of five full laps, going solo and holding off all challengers. Only Riley would threaten him with a fast fourth lap, but Amos would not be denied on the weekend, even in searing heat.

Riley completing a perfect weekend in Mairiporã.

“Oh, such a brutal race. So painful but so rewarding,” Amos said after the race. “Such a really cool track. Amazing place. The heat was really tough. We managed it the best we could with cool bottles. Lucky to have great staff all over the course to help keep cool, but you can only do so much. I started to overheat towards the end and really, really paid for it, but was able to hold on to the win.”

Amos appears to be in top form with Round 2 of the XC World Cup just one week away in Araxá. A week before racing in Mairiporã, he also had a strong showing at the U.S. Pro Cup event in Fayetteville, where he took an elite XCO win. He’s on a mission to crush his final year in the U23 ranks.

Riley's only just getting started.

“I’m so super thankful for the Trek family all over: The amazing Trek staff, Trek Brazil for helping us out so much,” Amos said. “And just happy to get the win for everybody.”

Riley spent his pre-World Cup season racking up U23 podiums in Europe. He and Amos appear primed for a big year. This won’t be the last time we see them go head to head.

“The USA coming away with 1 and 2, Riley and I have been racing each other since maybe 13 or 12, and every single race we’ve been battling each other,” Riley said after the race. “So being 1 and 2 at the World Cup now, that was like our dream from Day 1.”