MALVERN's Evie Richards has been selected as part of a 26-strong cycling squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Richards, 24, will compete in the Women's Mountain Bike event on July 27th, starting around 6AM BST. 

The former Chase School pupil will become the second mountain bike cyclist from Malvern to represent Team GB at an Olympic Games after Liam Killeen, who competed in the men's event in 2004 in Athens, 2008 in Beijing and at London 2012. 

Richards started cycling only eight years ago after being successful in both cross country running and hockey through her time at school, but was selected to be on the Olympic Development pathway just two years later at 18.

From there she has gone from strength-to-strength and even became an under-23 World Champion in Cyclo-Cross in 2016 and then again in 2018. 

She signed up for Trek Cycling at 20 years of age and is now also a Red Bull sponsored athlete. 

Back in April, she spoke to the Worcester News and explained that competing in the Olympic games has always been her biggest dream and now she has achieved that goal.

"I remember being sat in A-Level PE at school thinking, if you don't go and win the Olympic games then what's the point in going," she said.

"But having been through this process and seeing how hard it is to qualify, chasing around the world to get points to just gain a place and then all the selection behind it, I think it would just be the best thing just to get there.

"Your first games is probably not the one you're going to win but I think you need to experience it to get your eye in for the next time you go.

"From speaking to other people, your first games is such a surreal experience, that you use it as a learning for your next games and lots more games to come.

"There is little pressure on your first one, you haven't been before, no one really knows you, no one knows how you'll go, so I think it will be a learning games.

"Obviously when you get to the start line, you want to win, however, there is less pressure.

"But you can't waste the experience, you have to enjoy it." 

Worcester News:

(Picture: Ross Bell) 

The Olympics were delayed from last year due to the impact of Covid and even this year there was plenty of resistance to the games going ahead by the Japanese public.

But despite everything it will go ahead this summer and Richards appreciates that it will be a little different.

"It will be an odd games this year with limited crowds and a different village and the fact you can't really stay past your event so when you are done, you have to go home," she added.

"I love seeing people. When I was younger I hated people watching me but now I want to enjoy this experience with my family, in an ideal world.

"We have worked hard for this as a family so I would love them to be there, because we've done it together but this year it won’t be possible, so maybe the Paris olympics will be one everyone can come to.

"It will be a different games for sure but that's how it is."