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UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Ben Tullett and Evie Richards win gold for Great Britain

Men's junior race goes to a British rider for second year running, Richards takes second women's U23 title in three years...

Great Britain have got off to a storming start at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship in Valkenburg with Ben Tullett winning the men's junior race, and Evie Richards taking the women's Under-23 title for the second time in three years.

In the men's junior race, Tomas Kopecky of the Czech Republic was second, with Ryan Kamp of the Netherlands winning bronze for the host nation on a muddy and technical circuit that should provide for some thrilling racing throughout the weekend.

It's the second year running that a British rider has won the rainbow jersey in the junior men's race, with Tom Pidcock triumphing last year in Bieles, Luxembourg.

12 months ago, Tullett's brother Dan took the silver medal as Great Britain completed a clean sweep of the podium, with Ben Turner third. All three ride in the  Under-23 race tomorrow , where Pidcock - winner of the World Cup this season in that age group - starts as a strong favourite.

> Video: GB junior men sweep podium at Cyclo-cross World Championship

Meanwhile Richards, winner of the rainbow jersey in 2016, took the women's Under-23 title back with a dominant display despite a stumble inside the opening 30 seconds and a jammed gear entering the third and final lap that saw her forced to swap bikes at the pits.

She had passed the bell with a 37-second advantage over eventual silver medallist Ceylin del Carmen Alverado of the Netherlands and Austria's Nadja Heigl, but had only ceded seven seconds to them as a result of that mechanical problem by the time she was able to change bikes, and rode away to an emphatic victory.

Two years ago in Belgium, her victory was overshadowed by the discovery at the same race of a hidden motor in the bike of home rider Femke van den Driessche, but today after a season in which Richards has also taken her first World Cup win at senior level, she is well deserving of being fully in the limelight.

The women's elite race developed early on into a duel between defending champion Sanne Cant of Belgium and Katie Compton of the United States, with Cant getting clear on the final lap to retain her title.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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