Evie Richards’ stunning world championship victory has been voted as 2016 British Cycling Ride of the Year.
The youngster won the under-23 title at the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross world championships in Zolder, Belgium, in January, decimating the field by breaking away at the end of the first lap and embarking on a long, solo bid for victory.
In winning 17.9% of the public vote to claim the Ride of the Year title, supported by the Bicycle Association, she joins an illustrious list of winners which includes Sir Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Deignan.
“I’m really surprised, because everyone did so well at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics – so to actually win is pretty amazing. I watched them all and they are all role models to me.
“To win is pretty cool. It’s really nice to have that support, a big thank you to everyone that voted for me.”
On her world championships win, she added:
“I was in good form but I wasn’t expecting to win at all. But once I was at the front I knew I was strong enough.”
A total of 12 rides were shortlisted, including second place finishers – with 15.4% of the vote – the women’s team pursuit quartet of Laura Kenny, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker, who shattered the world record to beat the USA and claim gold in the final of their event at the Rio Olympics.
Rachel Atherton was voted into third place (13.7%) for her sensational UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Championship-winning performance in Val-di-Sole in September.
Jason Kenny’s dramatic keirin – the victory which secured his record-equalling sixth Olympic gold medal – was the fourth most popular performance (12.9%), meanwhile the top five was completed by the inaugural world-level women’s Madison, which Katie Archibald and Manon Lloyd won in Glasgow despite their early crash (9.2%).
Bicycle Association, supporters of the award, said:
“We’re proud to support British Cycling’s Ride of the Year award. It’s been a truly amazing year for cycling, with a number of memorable moments and performances across all disciplines. Congratulations to Evie and all the nominees.”
This year’s contest attracted the highest number of votes in the award’s history, reflecting a year in which British cyclists have claimed 12 Olympic medals, 21 Paralympic medals and sixteen elite world titles. All performances by riders representing the Great Britain Cycling Team were eligible for nomination.