MALVERN'S Evie Richards and former King's School Worcester pupil Hayley Simmonds are among 27 Team England cyclists heading to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Richards is selected for next month's mountain bike contest on Australia's Gold Coast while Simmonds will be in the women's road time trial team.

Redditch-born Simmonds, 29, is selected alongside Melissa Lowther and Abigail Van Twisk while under 23 world champion Richards is joined by Olympian Annie Last and British champion Frazer Clacherty in her discipline.

Richards, who is 21 on Sunday, said: “I love being able to represent my country and I’m looking forward to riding for Team England at Gold Coast 2018.

"We had our world championships in Australia back in September so we used that trip as an opportunity to recce the mountain bike course for the Commonwealth Games.

"I really enjoyed the course and I think it will suit a lot of my strengths so I can’t wait to race there.”

Simmonds was a keen rower at King's, representing England in the 2004 Home International Regatta, before switching to cycling while studying at Cambridge University.

England cycling team leader Keith Reynolds said: “We’re happy with the team we’ve selected and there are some exciting prospects across the board so I’m looking forward to seeing how the team gets on at the Games.”

Team England chef de mission Sarah Winckless said: “This is a really busy time of year for our cycling teams with the spring classics on the road, the world cup season starting for the mountain bikers and the world championships on the track so I’m delighted we are taking such a strong team to the Games.

"England has a long history in cycling at the Games having won over 100 medals. I’m hopeful this team will be able to add to that tally for team and country in just a few weeks time.”

England are holding a 10-day preparation camp in Brisbane.