MALVERN’S Evie Richards regained her World Cyclo-Cross Championship women's under 23s title with an emphatic ride through the mud in Holland.

The 20-year-old won the event in 2016 before getting bronze in 2017 but was hot favourite this year in Valkenburg.

She soon went ahead on the technical circuit featuring slippery descents and steep hills that forced riders to run with their bikes.

Richards powered clear and only fellow Malvern cyclist Harriet Harnden, 16, tried to follow the early pace as both looked comfortable in tricky conditions.

But Harnden’s international rivals, some four years her senior, clawed back as the race wore on.

Richards' gears broke but she kept calm and changed bikes before her rivals could close the advantage and had time to celebrate victory before collapsing after the finish in exhaustion.

In her maiden world championships, Harnden shone to finish fourth.

“It was one of the toughest races I have ever done and I just fought from the start," said Richards.

“It was so good to see Hattie come fourth just behind me and it seems like us Brits are dominating at the moment.

“It was so hard to know whether to run or ride (parts of the course) and it all happened so quickly.

"The muddy ruts were getting deeper and it was really technical.

“I panicked when I realised I couldn’t change gear but when I panic everything goes wrong so I was just spinning my legs as fast as they would go.

“I knew the pits were around the corner and my crew were ready.

“Hattie and I do turbo sessions together when I’m at home and cross sessions.

"It just shows the work both Tracy Moseley and Liam Killeen give to us with the help of British Cycling.

“Us Malvern lot have come along really well this year.”

Richards is eyeing a medal at April's Commonwealth Games in Australia where she hopes to ride the women’s mountain bike event.

“The Commonwealth Games is something I have always dreamed of doing and is the biggest thing this year. I have got so many aims," added Richards.

“Hopefully I get selected and to get a medal would be amazing. Four years ago when the last games was on I was just getting into cycling.

"The Olympics is something I have always dreamed of and 2020 in Tokyo is what I’m aiming for.”

Richards and Harnden, who both had their parents watching in Holland, are on the British Cycling pathway, riding for Trek Factory Racing and T Mo Racing respectively.

They came through the junior ranks at Malvern Cycle Sport with help from Killeen, James Richards and Moseley.