The conditions were perfect for Evie Richards' career result
In May, Evie Richards took her first ever elite World Cup Olympic-distance podium in Nove Mesto. On Sunday, she won her first medal, taking third on a messy day in Les Gets. The heavy rain was precisely to her liking.
“I love the rain, so I was super excited when I saw that it was going to be raining,” Richards said after the race.
Richards started in the third row after suffering a mechanical problem during Friday’s short track race that forced her to take a DNF. On Sunday, she wasted no time moving herself up the pack. Even if she hadn’t been buried at the start, Richards’ plan would have been to get aggressive early.
“I just wanted to get into the race quite quickly. As opposed to Leogang where I was going to move up slowly, I really wanted to commit,” Richards said. “So I got up there early, then just took a breath and just went with my own race from there.”
For the first half of the race, Richards fell into a rhythm with Swedish rider Jenny Rissveds. After three of six laps, Richards was in fifth place at 40 seconds behind race leader, and eventual winner, Loana Lecomte. From there, Richards maintained a steady pace, eventually passing defending world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot on the fourth lap, and Rebecca McConnell on the fifth.
On that penultimate lap, Richards also took a hard tumble on a grassy descent with McConnell not far behind, but she quickly got back on her bike and pulled away. Richards posted the second fastest time on the last lap to finish strong, 19 seconds behind Rissveds.
The final result was among Richards’ career highlights, which include two U23 cyclocross world titles, five U23 British national titles, and an elite cyclocross World Cup win. Richards entered Les Gets off two straight wins at Swiss Cup and Internazionali d’Italia Series races. There could be even more big things in store for her this summer.
Mona Mitterwallner wins fourth straight U23 World Cup race
Trek | Vaude’s Mona Mitterwallner continues to impress in her debut U23 season. The 19-year-old is one of the youngest riders in her field, yet she is on a hot streak of four straight World Cup victories, with her ride on Sunday her strongest yet.
Mitterwallner was the only rider to post five laps under 14 minutes. After a chaotic race, she emerged with a gap of more than three minutes, her largest yet in the series, to second place Caroline Bohe.
Mitterwallner is one of the most ambitious riders in XC, riding for a team that is doing everything it can to continuously challenge her. So far, Mitterwallner is having an incredible season, and it appears she’s still getting faster.
Stephane Tempier places 18th in first World Cup back from illness
Stephane Tempier has had a difficult season, but appears to be on his way back to full strength after finishing 18th in Les Gets within a pack of four riders that included teammate Anton Cooper (16th) just two seconds ahead.
After finishing 48th in Nove Mesto, Tempier revealed that he was struggling with illness and that he would be taking time off to recuperate. After missing the World Cup in Leogang, he returned to racing for the Internazionali d’Italia Series race in La Thuile last weekend and finished third.
On Sunday, Tempier rode a consistent race on a punishing course. The veteran Frenchman has to feel encouraged by the performance as the XC season enters its later stages.