MALVERN'S Evie Richards became the cross-country Mountain Bike World Champion on Saturday as she won gold in Italy.

Having won silver in the short-track race on Thursday, Richards crossed the line in one hour, 23 minutes and 52 seconds to claim the rainbow jersey in Italy and become the first British female cross-country world champion.

The 24-year-old finished ahead of the Netherlands' Anne Terpstra (second) and Sina Frei of Switzerland (third).

The defending champion of the last two years Pauline Ferrand Prevot came sixth.

It was Richards first race since coming seventh at the Olympic Games in Tokyo earlier this summer.

"I can't believe it, I'm really shocked," said a tearful Richards to BBC Sport.

"I didn't have much confidence going into this race, I said I'll shine one day and today is my time to shine.

"I really didn't think I'd be able to do that today, I never thought I'd be good enough to win a race like this.

"With Covid it's been really hard but I tried to stay positive. When I'm happy I race well and I've truly been happy the last three weeks at home."