MALVERN Cycle Sport enjoyed more off-road race domination at the inaugural West Midland Regional Cyclo-cross Championships.

With a fast, largely flat, open and wind-swept course at Top Barn near Worcester, the going was always going to be relentlessly hard.

Malvern had many of their top-level performers in action which included a much-anticipated return of the 2016 under 23s women's world champion Evie Richards.

With both Richards and Harriet Harnden present in the mixed age group main women's race, both rode strongly to dominate and win their respective categories.

Trek Factory Racing star Richards never looked troubled from the start and won by a convincing margin.

Sixteen-year-old Harnden, of T-Mo Racing, impressed too and got second overall two minutes behind while taking the junior women's title with ease.

Then came the main men's race and Malvern's Ross Harnden, recovering from a cold, saw his recent training pay off as he won his senior category with strength and determination after finishing third overall.

Behind this unfolded an exciting battle as Malvern's Ed Moseley took to the start line in the high-quality category of over 40s men.

Moseley put in a gritty performance to get second overall and become 40 to 45 year regional champion.

Up against a multiple winner in Darren Atkins from Ride Coventry, the race was always going to be hard from the off.

But Moseley shone considering his non cyclo-cross background and pulled off a close-fought second to Atkins.

It was wheel-to-wheel battling for the whole race.

After her win, Malvern's Richards, 20, said: “It was really nice to be back as I have had illness and injury so haven’t been on the bike in around two weeks.

“To be able to ride and not have any problems has been really good and to race is even better.

"I meant to start back earlier but kept having problems so it was so good to be back for my first race and I will carry them on now hopefully every weekend.

“I would love to position well at the Cyclo-cross World Championships again but it’s going to be a busy year with hopefully the Commonwealth Games and Mountain Bike World Championships so there's lots of aims.

“I have signed for Trek, which is mainly mountain bike-focused, but they will support me in cross.

"I love cross but mountain bike is always the focus.

“I was really nervous as I haven’t been riding as much I wanted to and with it being a local race.

“It was perfect to have it right on the doorstep.”