TFR CX Preview: Meet Trek’s young talents taking on the world’s best

Trek's youth are more than holding their own

The Trek Factory Racing cyclocross squad learned a lot about themselves during the 2020 season.

All three returning riders are still relatively green at elite-level racing. Evie Richards, at 23, is the most veteran member of the team. The other two, Hattie Harnden and Maddie Munro, are still eligible for U23 and U19 racing, respectively. Yet when put to the stiffest tests, they proved that they deserve a place alongside the world’s best riders. 

Heading into 2021, now with a smidge more experience to pair with their talent, Trek’s CXers are out to prove their podium bona fides. This weekend, Richards and Munro will open their seasons by participating in two of cyclocross’ biggest series competitions, the X²0 badkamers Trofee and Telenet Superprestige. Then on Dec. 20, Harnden will join her teammates for the World Cup event in Namur.

This year should be memorable, with a (hopefully) normalized racing calendar helping young riders find a rhythm, and giving Trek’s CX team a chance to show off their full tantalizing potential. 

Meet the team below:

The Trek Factory Racing CX season kicks off with events in three of the sport's biggest series.

Evie Richards (21st UCI women’s elite cyclocross rankings)

In an interview with Red Bull, Richards said that her 2019-20 cyclocross season was, in part, prep for cross country mountain biking events in the Spring and Summer (she won the World Cup short track event in Nove Mesto in September). Even still, she only narrowly missed the podium in several races, finishing fourth and fifth in two cyclocross World Cup events, and sixth at the World Championships. 

The former U23 cyclocross World Champion doesn’t take any competition lightly. She’ll race twice this weekend — Saturday in Antwerp as part of the X²0 badkamers Trofee, and Sunday in Gavere as part of the Telenet Superprestige.

Armed with their trusty Boones, TFR CX's two youngest riders raced above their categories and held their own.

Hattie Harnden (49th UCI women’s elite cyclocross rankings)

Harnden is another decorated XC mountain biker who has made a statement in cyclocross. Last January, at just 19 years old, she shocked the sport when she won the British elite national championship over long-time veterans. She also finished in the top half of the field — 23rd at a Superprestige event in Niel, and 22nd at GP Leuven — in elite events that included the likes of World Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Telenet Baloise’s Lucinda Brand. 

Harnden will start the season with one of cyclocross’ most prestigious events, racing in Namur as part of the World Cup on Dec. 20.

Maddie Munro, 18, is already making noise as an American in a Europe-dominated sport.

Maddie Munro (64th UCI women’s elite cyclocross rankings)

Munro, just 18, is making her TFR debut this season. She was a force at the U19 level in 2019-20, winning the Pan-American and USA National Championships, and taking third at the World Championship. She also acquitted herself well in three World Cup appearances, but her best elite result was perhaps her 21st-place showing at the Superprestige race in Diegem. Then just 17 years old, Munro beat 64 other finishers, some more than twice her age. 

Her trial-by-fire continues this Saturday and Sunday alongside Richards in Antwerp and Gavere.