MALVERN teenager Evie Richards is celebrating her first Great Britain call-up.
The 17-year-old is in the GB cross-country team for the Union Cycliste Internationale Mountain Bike World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, from September 2 until 7.
The Malvern Cycle Sport and Back on Track competitor has enjoyed a string of National Series and Championships podium places in her first full season in the sport.
She joins national champions Annie Last and Grant Ferguson in a young GB team.
Richards, currently studying for her A-levels at The Chase School, Malvern, was thrilled to hear of the call-up.
The teenager gave up hockey this year to concentrate on her cycling.
She said: “I am really grateful to all of my sponsors and especially to all of my coaches for the time and support they have given me.
“The club have been great for my cycling development. There are so many inspiring cyclists at Malvern Cycle Sport and I hope to do the club proud.”
British Cycling’s Olympic mountain bike coach Phil Dixon said: “The world championships in Lillehammer will allow the riders to compete against the world’s best on what is a very tough and physical track but one that this young team should enjoy racing on.
“We’re taking a young team and the selection represents a real investment in long-term development. It’s the first time in a long time we have had six junior cross-country athletes on the start-line and their progress is testament to the success of the British Cycling Olympic development pathway.
“It’s a really good opportunity for all the riders to race against the best in the world and I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress.”
Richards has been supported by Back on Track Cycles, Giant bikes, Envex Contractors, Scimitar Sports and the University of Gloucestershire.
Meanwhile, Malvern Cycle Sport host a week of cycling events for every ability during the Tour of Britain from September 8 until 14.
They end with the Birchwood Bash cycle coaching and races for all ages on the weekend of September 13 and 14 in Storridge, near Malvern.