Malvern Mountain Bike medal hopeful Evie Richards admits she "has to be realistic" ahead of her second appearance at a Commonwealth Games this afternoon.

Richards, 25, will be going in the Women's Cross-Country Mountain Bike event at Cannock Chase, looking to go one better than she did on the Gold Coast four years ago.

She won silver that year, finishing behind fellow England compatriot Annie Last but back injuries and a recent spell out with Coronavirus have severely hampered her preparations this time around.

"Obviously it would mean the world to a win a gold medal somewhere so close to home, but I have to be realistic," said Richards.

"I had Covid two or three weeks ago and was off the bike with that and obviously had to deal with the back injury.

"I trained so hard, I hope that all that training over however many months pays off."

Richards was set to be competing in the World Cup in America for Trek Cycling but after pleading with her team, she has been given the green light to compete for gold at Birmingham 2022.

"For me the Commonwealth Games is such a big thing and it being so close to home I was dead excited," she said.

"I should really be racing at the World Cup over in America but luckily my team were very kind and let me come. I don't think they realised how much of a big thing it is for me and my family. For me it's the ultimate race of the year and so I'm happy to have made it here."