MALVERN'S Evie Richards celebrated a hat-trick of podiums to boost her chances of a top-three UCI Mountain Bike World Cup finish.

The Great Britain rider finished second to consistent victor Ronja Eibl in Val di Sole, continuing a strong run that has seen her fly up the overall under 23s cross-country season rankings.

Silver-medal finishes in Andorra, France and now Italy mean Richards has 228 points, just seven adrift of Nicole Koller in third position.

In Val di Sole there was no stopping Germany’s Eibl from her third win in a row.

But Richards, who led for the first three laps, pushed her hard, finishing as the lone chaser 42 seconds adrift on a tough course.

The Trek Factory Racing rider, 22, clocked one hour seven minutes 24 seconds with Austria's Laura Stigger 30 seconds adrift.

Two world cup races remain, starting on Sunday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Richards then goes to Canada with fellow Malvern rider Harriet Harnden, of T-Mo Racing, to represent GB in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships from August 28.