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Interview: Evie Richards - From Disordered Eating & Anxiety to the Rainbow Stripes

Jan 20, 2022 at 9:54
by Ross Bell  

One of the biggest stories of the 2021 cross country race season was Evie Richards' end of season charge which was ignited by World Champs glory and fuelled by back to back World Cup wins, showing that success was far from a flash in the pan. To say Evie's 2021 successes were surprising would be an insult to her talent and work ethic - she had already shown her prowess in U23 and since stepping up to elite has powered her way to short track victories and the XCO podium. With that said, few could have predicted her run of victories and the manner in which she went about them, Evie herself included.

Evie's rise to the top is made all that sweeter by her journey to it which was by no means smooth, battling both her mind and body with everything from major injuries to eating disorders and even race-ending anxiety. The lessons and learning she experienced in her earlier seasons have helped lay the foundations for a healthy and sustained career, one which already contains the illustrious rainbow stripes and World Cup victories.

We sat down with Evie to look back on last year and beyond as the 2022 race season begins to loom large on the horizon:

We’re a few months post-race season, has that given you time to look back and process what you’ve achieved?

Probably not yet. Once I got home I feel like it was probably all a bit too much. I’d never anticipated winning a World Championship so to then back it up and win those races, when I got home I felt like I didn’t know how to handle what I’d just done. I just had to cut off from everything for a month. It’s just when someone says something like "oh we’ll buy drink to celebrate", I’m like "oh yeah s***, I’m a World Champion".

It still doesn’t feel real but I think when I get back into training in the kit and look forward to next season I think it’ll settle in. After getting back, getting ill and not being in the right headspace it was almost too much to process but now looking back, I’ll see videos and just from doing little bits of media stuff I’m like, "oh wow that’s pretty cool"! I feel like it’s only just starting to settle in.

You said you’d been struggling since getting home?

Yeah, so I got sick. I think my body just shut down after the race. I think I’d just reached the limit with travelling and pushing my body, I just got a general cold when I got home but I couldn’t fight it off which is not like me as I’ve never missed a days training with a cold in my life. So, I really struggled with a flu for the first 10 days, I just felt really down and didn’t want to see anyone and then after 10 days I was feeling better but I just couldn’t leave the house.

My coach was asking me if I was ready to train yet and I just physically couldn’t get myself out of the house, which is not like me. I just felt really low and I think it was all a bit too much as these things I’ve wanted to achieve over the next 20 years, somehow I’d just done it in a month.

I still wasn’t feeling myself and was trying to get back in time for the [cyclo]cross and not really having a focus because I wasn’t feeling really well, I just felt really lost and I just didn’t know what to do. I think just cutting the season early, which was a decision made by the doctors and psychologist, was probably the best thing ever. As soon as I went away I felt loads better but I’d just built up fatigue, illness, everything and my body was like you’re not doing anything. I was so exhausted mentally and physically and that was the end of the season, I think that was a good time to call it.

How hard was it to actually make that decision?

There are not many times where I’m like, "right, I need a rest". When I was genuinely worried about my health, I’ve had chronic fatigue and had to miss a year and a bit of school and stayed in bed for a year and a half and my mum had to look after me. When my mum and dad step in and say, "actually Evie, we’re telling you now as your parents you are not getting on that flight". I think that was when I was genuinely quite worried about going away and still racing and pushing myself as I think once you push yourself into such a deep hole it’s bloody hard to get back out of it.

It’s never an easy decision, especially when the World Cup is a Trek race and you’ve told everyone you are going and I’m expected to do these with my contract as well, to turn around and tell your team that you aren’t up to the racing especially because it was both a mental and physical thing, it's quite hard to show it as well. It was a really hard decision and it was almost taken out of my hands by my parents, the doctor and the psychologist in the end as I was in no shape to make the decision. It was a hard decision but it was the best decision I’ve made this year.

Evie Richards loves this kind of conditions so it s no surprise to see her take her first elite podium.

First elite World Cup meant the first short track experience for Evie Richards she got acquainted quickly.
Evie Richards was happy to strap the number 1 plate to her bike today.

Evie Richards emerges from the darkness. Check out what s keeping her company in her rear-wheel...

I feel like that’s quite an easy thing to fall into, especially in XC. Quite often we’ll see someone dominate and then suddenly disappear. In the past you’d been quite outspoken about eating disorders and that sort of thing, do you think that’s still a big issue, particularly in the women’s field?

I feel like when you look at the women’s field you can almost see it in a lot of people with how they look, but I also think there’s a lot of riders who might have an eating disorder but they don’t physically look unwell but maybe they're still struggling in their head. I just think you can see it in the results when someone races really well and then they suddenly disappear.

I think it’s still probably quite common in both the men and women’s field. I think it’s even hard when you’re a rider trying to compete against people with an eating disorder as you look bigger so then that puts pressure on you as you feel like you need to look like them. You have to be quite a strong character to know that when you go to the start line, you’ll probably be bigger than them but you’re healthy. I know I’ve struggled in the past and I feel like it takes a lot of strong people around you to really encourage you that this is healthy, this is the way to be. I still think that in XC and in all cycling and sport that it’s quite a common thing really.

Do you think if people spoke about it more would that help? Or is it always going to be something that’s present?

Yeah, I feel like when I had disordered eating, I thought that was the normal thing. The people I was looking up to then have since shown that they had eating disorders so I remember as a younger rider looking up to people with eating disorders and thinking that’s the shape I need to be, that’s the weight I need to be.

Even now, it makes me so angry, you see riders posting what weight they are and in my head I think oh my goodness for all the young girls looking up thinking "I need to be this weight" which is never a healthy weight as it’s normally a horrendously low number. You just think you’ve damaged their childhood because they are then trying to be this crazy stupid weight because they think they need to be that to be a World Champion or something. Since then, there are people who’ve come out and spoken about how fuelling is so important and I think there are so many people now really encouraging how important fuelling is from Nikki Harris to so many other ex or current riders or nutritionists.

There’s so much more advice even within sports. When I first started, skin folds were so important and power to weight was spoken about so much, but now with my coaches, I haven’t weighed myself in 2 years and we don’t even talk about my weight, it’s irrelevant. If we do talk about fuelling it’s about, "you need to make sure you eat on this ride", it’s never "right, you need to be a lower weight". I really do think it’s changing but it’s about more people talking about fuelling well and how looking after yourself is really important in having a long career.

Let’s go back to the World Championships in Val di Sole, what were your hopes and exceptions going into that?

For Worlds, it’s a weird one because I’d set my eyes on the Olympics and that was what I was training for. Then after that, I didn’t have the race I wanted, there’d been so much pressure to qualify and then race the Olympics that when I got home I just relaxed. All expectations had gone for the rest of the season. I hadn’t even spoken with my coaches about what my aims were, it was just enjoy riding your bike at home, go to Cornwall, see your family.

So when I got to Worlds, I felt like I had trained hard at home but I also felt like I’d partied and I’d seen my friends and gone on holiday so I was not expecting to do very well. A top 10 would be really good. Looking back, I’d done some really hard sessions with my coaches but I’d done loads off the bike because it was the first time I hadn’t quarantined, it felt like I’d had a really great time at home. Because I’d enjoyed myself so much at home I almost felt like I was going to ride rubbish at Worlds so I didn’t really have any expectations, everyone probably thought, "oh she’s just been in Cornwall for 3 days swimming and stand up paddle boarding" so I don’t think anyone had any expectations on me doing well.

Going into the short track, if I could have thought "right, I could be in the top 3", I genuinely think I could have won it but I didn’t even think I’d be in the top 10 as my short tracks this year have been hopeless really, my best was 8th I think. I didn’t even think a top 5 was possible in the short track, but I think if I’d gone into that race thinking "oh I could win" then maybe I would have raced it differently. I think when you have confidence in yourself you can stick to a plan but I just didn’t have any because I didn’t think I was going to do that well. So, I didn’t really stick to any sort of plan, I was just riding quite erratically.

After that, I should’ve taken confidence into the full race but warming up I thought "ah no, I’m going to do rubbish, my legs don’t feel great". I was still thinking "oh, you’ve been on holiday, they’ve all been training hard". I just think I was comparing myself to what I’d seen on social media from the other girls and what they’d been doing. When I look back on the training I can see why I did so well. I’d done so much training going into the Olympics and the fitness didn’t go at the Olympics, I just didn’t deliver the race. The fitness just carried on from the Olympics so I had the form there at the Games, I just didn’t deliver the race well. My coach said "no wonder you did so well, you were in really good nick".

Evie Richards locked and loaded.
Evie Richards takes her best elite finish so far she ll be looking higher though

Evie Richards thrives in these chaotic conditions and today was no different.

In the middle of the race, were you surprised with the way things were unfolding?

I always have a plan going into the race and it was to be in the top 5 at the start. I knew it would be quite an aggressive start. With World Champs, everyone wants to be up there and you get some random people wanting to be up there. I knew I wanted to be in that top group but I knew that I didn’t want to go with any erratic moves at the start. It was an aggressive start, everyone was quite boisterous. When we came round and had done a lap and I was in second position I was like, "no! What?!" I had that feeling when I raced in Namur a few years back, I came through and I was genuinely like, "that cannot be right". I was very shocked but I felt good, it wasn’t like I was going to blow now. "S*** I’m in second and I’m feeling really good"! It was a nice shock, I felt good in that position, I felt strong.

Pauline had pulled a big gap on that first lap… When was it that you started to feel like you could win?

On a course that hilly it’s very much a time trial in my head so I wasn’t really fussed by Pauline. Obviously, I could see her in front of me but it was kind of irrelevant, I was just riding my race and pushing to my limits on the descents. When I overtook her, I think it showed that I wasn’t really racing her, I was just racing myself against the clock and that probably shows in my lap times. I was racing her, but it was luck that she faded, my splits were similar but she went out too hard. It was a weird feeling because yes, she was ahead of me, but I wasn’t going to sprint to go and get her. I was just riding my race. It could have been different, on the day she might not have blown up and she would have kept going so it was lucky she did and that my lap times were consistent and I held that gap.

You win World Champs and then the following week go to Lenzerheide and back it up by winning a World Cup…

Going into Lenzerheide I said to Jon Rourke, the team manager, "oh you’ve got an Olympic Champion and a World Champion"! He replied with, "yeah but we don’t have a World Cup winner!" Then we made the bet on Hawaii that if one of us won that we’d go to Hawaii.

I’d kind of taken myself out of the equation of winning, I didn’t think I could win, I was like, "one of you guys on the team has to win so we can go to Hawaii"! I genuinely didn’t think it would be me. I thought everyone had crumbled at Worlds and I’d just kept calm and had a good race. Then going into Lenzerheide I was like, "a top 5 would be really good, I’d really like to be on the podium". I felt like I’d had a stressful week leading into it with more media stuff, I just didn’t feel great that week.

Then on the day, I warmed up and felt really good, it was the best-planned race I’d ever done, it was the most excitement I’d ever had. That race felt like it had confirmed my World Champs. When I won I was like, "holy s***, I’m actually the one to beat now". I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never had a good race in Lenzerheide before, I always mess it up. I’d just defied the odds of what I thought I could do.

The way the race went, it was a group race, riding against people very closely is not the sort of racing I like to do, I find it very uncomfortable holding that sort of position. My race plan went to a tee, which is what I’m always working on with my coach and psychologist, take away the result it was a really good race that we’d been working towards that kind of race plan for the last year. I was dead happy with the way I raced it and I knew they’d be chuffed with that, but then for me, I just felt like it confirmed everything. I got my first short track podium, I won my first World Cup and it confirmed that the World Champs wasn’t just a fluke, it was, "oh s*** I’m actually riding really well at the moment".




Did you just get more confidence and self-belief?

Yeah, I think after that I was just like, "oh my god I’m actually the one to beat now". After that I was like, "that wasn’t luck Evie, you’ve just had 4 good races, that’s not luck anymore that’s because you are riding well". I was just dead chuffed after that week and excited to go to Snowshoe.

And then in Snowshoe, just more of the same!

I don’t know if it’s other riders or just me but going into Snowshoe I was really worried again that I’m not going to be good enough. I always get that when coming to a race, "ahh I’m going to be rubbish, I’m not going to be good enough" and then I go and win both races. Sometimes I think how many races do I need to win before I line up on the start and think, "yeah, you’re going to win this".?

Sometimes, when I see some of the boys they’re like "yeah I’m feeling fast, I’m going to win"! Even in Snowshoe, I was really nervous because I felt like I’d be rubbish and people would be like, "oh she doesn’t deserve the stripes, that was just a fluke, it was because someone wasn’t riding well on the day". I suppose I had a bit more confidence but still not a huge amount! I’m not sure when that confidence of being a World Champion will actually come!

Going back to Tokyo, what was that Olympic experience like? Did it feel much different to a World Cup?

When I was in Tokyo, it was quite a big thing on social media, I got so many messages, people I hadn’t spoken to since school messaging me, I hadn’t spoken to some people in 10 years. Everyone was like, "oh you must be on cloud nine being at the Olympic Games" and I felt really selfish because I just didn’t feel like that.

When we go to the World Cups we go swimming and have a great time, I can do anything I want within reason, I can go on a ride, I can go on a run, I can go swimming in a lake and I just love being away, it feels like I’m on holiday with the chef and the team. I just love every second of it. With me as well, I’m a very serious rider when I race but the stuff I do off the bike is just as important, having that downtime away from cycling whether it’s just going for a cafe or out for lunch.

When I went to the Games you had a loop you could train on and for the first 3 days we weren’t allowed outside of the hotel. I was staying in an apartment with just Tom [Pidcock] and the team. Tom is a pure athlete, when he’s not training he rests. With me, if I’m not training I want to paddle boarding or something. It’s a very odd thing when you’re so enclosed. For me, part of my training and racing well is having that time to decompress and I felt like I couldn’t get that at the Games because it was so COVID safe, which obviously it needed to be. You were away from the main village so you couldn’t even watch the other sports.

I had this picture, and they say don’t meet your heroes, and it felt a bit like that for those Games. I was so excited to see Tom Daly and to watch the other events but we got there and we were just in a portacabin with the tiny XC team˙that we had. We couldn’t go anywhere else, on our rest days we just sat in there. It was like, "s*** this is actually a bit strange", you couldn’t talk to anyone as obviously everyone at home is asleep when you’re awake. It was a really weird atmosphere.

I was so pleased I went and I loved being at the games but it was just very different to my childhood perception. We’d always watch the Opening Ceremony and play music and have parties when the Olympics was on so to be there and watch it on a tiny box sat in my pyjamas it was like, "ah I should really be at the Opening Ceremony but I’m not, I’m just sat in my pyjamas watching". It was just a really weird experience, I’d got my expectations set on this incredible thing that I’d dreamed about for so long and then I was like, "oh, this is not what I thought it was going to be like"!

I think it was just so different to what I was used to at a World Cup. I’m very lucky at the World Cups with seeing all my friends which to me is a really important thing to race well, but to then not see anyone for 10 days, and obviously I had to isolate before I went so I hadn’t seen people in 2 weeks really. It was a really weird experience and I think Paris will be completely different, it was just the situation with mountain bike being in a separate village and with the COVID restrictions which needed to happen, it was slightly odd really!

bigquotesFor me, dislocating my knee was the best thing I’ve ever done.




Do you think that affected your performance?

Yeah I think it probably did. I raced horrendous in Albstadt and that’s because I’d been isolating at home on my own for 2 or 3 weeks before. You can really see with my performances when I’ve seen friends and I’m sociable. The 3 weeks before World Champs was the first week I hadn’t isolated and I saw my friends and then in Snowshoe I had my best performance, I’d seen friends before that and in Czech with the short track I’d done everything social before the event. I think with me I’m such a people’s person, I train really hard on the bike when I can really enjoy myself off the bike. I just think it could’ve been slightly different if the environment would’ve been different.

Throwing it right back to the start, how did you begin riding a bike and then start racing?

Basically at the age of 6 or something I decided that I wanted to go to the Olympic Games. We hired out a house every 4 years to watch the Olympics, we did it in France, we did it in Cornwall and there would be someone watching every event. It was always on.

I remember we bought an Olympic sized pingpong table after the Olympics we’d watched in France, I’d always find a new sport after watching the games. In high school they used to have your national jerseys on the wall when you got on the national team and I was like right, I’m going to get my jersey up there.

I just started every sport, high jump, rugby, basketball, every sport and I probably did county in probably half of them. Even in rounders, I don’t even like rounders but I still went to country trials because I was like I will find my sport! Hockey was the one I started that I got good at, I went to county straight away in Year 7 and I’d picked up a stick once. I preferred team sports as I didn’t like the pressure and I didn’t like losing, if I was in a team it didn’t make losing as bad, I was a really bad loser, I hated to lose.

I was progressing up and the hockey coach said to pick up another sport over winter to keep my fitness up and cycling was the only thing I wasn’t doing and I’d just got work experience at a farm and the only way to get there was on a bike. Dad had a bike and we’d do a run/ride to my farm job at the weekend and then with my first paycheck I bought a bike and Dad entered me into my first race. I think because it was away from school and I’d tried individual sports, like cross country I used to do and I’d win but I had to race it against the clock and not with everyone else because I didn’t like racing against people in case I lost.

We used to just go away to the races and suddenly I got selected for the World Champs in Norway which came out of nowhere… I got there, hadn’t even unpacked a bike before and had to build my bike and I was in Norway on my own at 16. I was like, "this is incredible, holy s*** I want to do this forever". I think that’s when I found my sport. I raced Norway and then I started racing with GB, I’d be at school and working at Waitrose on a Wednesday and then Friday night I’d go to Germany and race a junior World Cup and be back at school on Monday. It was incredible, just racing around the World at the weekend. With hockey it was always like, "oh Dad can you give me a lift to hockey"? He’d be like," do I have to Evie"? But then with cycling I could just sort myself out, I didn’t need to rely on anyone, I could train on my own and I just fell in love with it. Dad loved watching it as well, we all just kind of fell in love with the sport.

How did you meet Tracy Moseley and end up working with her?

Tracy used to do kids rides at her farm just to get people into cycling and I remember going straight from hockey to one of her events before. There’s a picture of me in a vest top and my hockey score at a really young age. I could’ve even been 14 or something then, I didn’t get into cycling then but I just remember going to one of her events.

Liam Killeen used to run efforts on a Tuesday, turbo session on a Thursday and then a big ride on Saturday. He didn’t ask for any money, he was just like, "come join me, I’ll lead a session" so I just did that and I think I probably met Tracy at one of those and she basically started giving me bikes. Between them they gave me a free bike and coaching just out of the kindness of their hearts. I was just very lucky that they were so helpful and that they wanted to help me. I think it was just the right place right time and I was very lucky to live in West Malvern. Hattie Harnden did the same, we were just very lucky that Liam and Tracy live in the same village as us really. They are just very kind people and want to help and get more people into cycling.

bigquotesPeople always message me on Instagram, "oh what should I buy to make my daughter faster"? No, go let them enjoy themselves. Let them buy the kit from Lidl. I used to buy my kit from there. Just go and enjoy yourself and take off that pressure of racing so early on.

Locked and loaded for Evie Richards.
Another XCC win Evie Richards can add to her repertoire.


Evie Richards was at the sharp end of the race right from the start.

Is it almost strange that Tracy has been there by your side the whole time and on the same team as you progressed through your career?

When I saw her at the finish line and she was crying at World Champs I did feel really emotional then because God, she’s seen it all. She’s seen me when I started, she gave me my first cross bike. I borrowed it off her and won World Champs, if she hadn’t given me that bike then I wouldn’t have had a bike to race on. She’s been there and helped me every step of the way. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be on Trek. It was just really nice to share that with her as she really wouldn’t have achieved any of that without her. It was just very special that she could see me win my first jersey in mountain bike.

Your U23 years seemed up and down. You had wins and some big injuries, did you find those times a bit frustrating or was it just part of the learning process?

When I look back at U23, I was really lucky. In my first year in U23 I felt like I was on the podium pretty much straight away. I think my first Worlds I was third or something and then I moved onto British Cycling and now looking back on it, it was anxiety but I got sick when I started racing when I moved to Manchester.

Basically, in every race I’d start being sick when the gun went off and I’d just be sick until I finished the race. Still, most races I got a top 3 but when it was really hot I’d just get heat stroke as I’d been sick so much. At the Australia World Champs, I didn’t finish that because I got heatstroke and I was still being sick after the race. In Lenzerheide, I think there was a World Champs there I didn’t finish because I had this sickness. For 2 or 3 years I was convinced I was ill but actually it was anxiety because I’d got myself so worked up in these races, I was so nervous and without realising it, I was making myself sick.

Even in training I’d get this sickness. Sometimes I was genuinely like I can’t put my body through this anymore, it’s so hard just to be sick all the time. When I dislocated my knee I started working with a psychologist and when I came back to racing after my rehab I’ve never been sick since. I was like, "oh my god, it was just all in my head". I remember when the doctor said it was psychological I was like, "no, I want every scan, I want every tube down my throat to find out what the problem is"! I genuinely can’t believe it now.

I can’t even process how your body can do something like that when you don’t even feel that nervous. For me, dislocating my knee was the best thing I’ve ever done. I found looking back at the U23 years really hard, I was so focused on riding that I cut off all my social life, I had no friends because I didn’t want to see friends because they were distracting me from my training. If I did see them I felt guilty because it was impacting my training. I’d moved away so I was severely under-fuelling as I was always trying to lose weight, I lived in the middle of nowhere on my own.

I had 3 years of living in Manchester and I hated it, I don’t even know how I managed to get through those 3 years. I just absolutely killed myself in training. I was always overtrained, I would always do more. They would say do 4 efforts and I would do 6, and another 2 hours training. I was always in a hole absolutely wrecked. I think that’s why it was always fluctuating because I would just get myself into such a hole that sometimes I couldn’t get back out of the hole.

Then I dislocated my knee and that’s when I started working with Renee the nutritionist and Rich the psychologist. Coming back after dislocating my knee, I wouldn’t ever have a day off because I was so worried about losing my fitness. When I dislocated my knee I remember they said 5 months recovery and I remember thinking, "holy s*** I’ll never be able to do this" but then I started working with Rich and Renee, I got my period back with Renee and stopped being sick with Rich. I rediscovered my social life, I got in contact with all my old friends, I realised at the end of the season I won the final World Cup in U23. I think that made it real to me, I can have my period, I can see my friends, I can enjoy life and I can win. I think that was the year it clicked and I feel really grateful that my knee accelerated that because I could still be now in that stage of still killing myself and having no social life, I feel like a lot of riders might still be like that.

I was so obsessive but actually having to have a life out of cycling, when I dislocated my knee cycling had gone, I didn’t have my bike for 3 months because I couldn’t ride it. I had to find a life without a bike quite early on and I felt like that was an amazing thing because from then on I’ve just been so happy. I feel like it made me fall in love with riding a bike to ride a bike, not to punish myself which is what I used to do.

How big is the psychological aspect of the sport?

I think that just shows how big it is. People would say things about psychological and I’d be like "ah nah, my brain is strong, I don’t need a psychologist" but that changed when I found Rich. Even now people would ask what do you talk about and I’m not sure but genuinely it just solves everything. It’s not even a psychologist to solve problems, it’s like the psychology of the race, I wouldn’t have won World Champs without the work I’d done with him and my coaches. Every 2 weeks I speak with him and my coaches together and we’ll discuss race plans and we’ll discuss tactical things in the races, it’s little things, like training your brain as well as training physically. For me I feel like a psychologist is 50% of my training, one of my sessions is speaking to my psychologist about race plans or anything like that.



What an end to the year for Evie Richards.

How would you encourage more girls into the sport? Would there be any advice you’d give to youngsters that were thinking about starting?

I think girls don’t like wearing helmets. That was one of the things that put me off, that’s the reason why cycling was the last sport I took up. I don’t want to wear a helmet, that’s so untrendy. For me it was just finding a group of people which you could just get on with and have a laugh and go do cool things with. Me and the boys, before I moved to Manchester, we’d go on a ride and set fireworks off or have bonfires or buy ice creams in winter. Whether it’s boys or girls, I think it’s good to have a mix and just doing cool things on your bike and really not putting pressure on your riding. That was the thing when we used to train with Liam on a Saturday we’d just race each other and have fun which was the key thing. People always message me on Instagram, "oh what should I buy to make my daughter faster"? No, go let them enjoy themselves. Let them buy the kit from Lidl. I used to buy my kit from there. Just go and enjoy yourself and take off that pressure of racing so early on.

Is there a piece of advice that you’ve learnt over the years that you wish you’d known at the start?

Yeah, I think for me it was the social life. I thought I couldn’t have a social life if I wanted to ride. Now I see you can do both, you can have a life outside of cycling, you can have friends off the bike but then you can still race really well. I was always so worried that if I saw my friends it would make me slower but actually now it makes me faster. You can still have a social life and race fast.

Then finally, what’s your hopes and plans for the coming years?

It took me so long to work out everything. This year was the first where everything was stable. Last year I was excited that after this year everything would be really good. This year I got my house, it’s the first full year of having both my coaches, I’ve got the best psychologist, I live near home with all my family which I love and I’ve got amazing friends. I’ve got a really stable base and this year is the first year I’ve had that.

For me, I’m just excited as if we can do that in year one then what can we do in year 2 or year 5? Even in coaching with Katy, this year we were like, "right we’re going to learn to jump". My aim was to be able to go off the Olympic jump and that was just 1 year of having technical coaching. Just going forward I’m so excited to see what I can do. If I can become a World Champion in the first year with them then I can do anything after a couple of years with them. I think I’m just excited to see what we can do together, I just love being coached and working with them. I’m very excited about the future.

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  • 80 0
 I was at Snowshoe and while she is super impressive on the bike, she's even more impressive off of it. Every time we saw her, she was always laughing or at least smiling and talking to whoever was around her. My wife joked by the second day we were there, "Here comes Evie" as we could hear her a mile away. Super fun kid.
  • 7 0
 Look at that smile on almost pic. She is having so much fun riding!
  • 5 25
flag KK11 (Feb 11, 2022 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 Tasty article….
  • 49 2
 Evie gets off a bike and looks like a fit, healthy, professional athlete, her competitors get off and look like they've just gotten lost in the woods for 2 months and barely survived on moss and insects. I'm not judging, as everyone should make their own decisions about their body and their health, but it's impossible to not cheer for Evie as she crushes her competitors while being 10kg heavier than a lot of them. Evie, you're a much needed example in a sport where unhealthy expectations are the barrier to entry for a LOT of people.
  • 5 0
 So true
  • 7 6
 That is a judgement and you're entitled to your opinion.
  • 47 0
 Evie Richards, you're one of my favorite people. Love the authenticity, tenacity, humility... Thank you for sharing both your highs and your lows, quite inspirational!
  • 36 0
 Interesting how many British women that are based with British Cycling in Manchester get issues with eating and overtraining. I've listened to interviews with Katy Winton, Ella Conolly and now Evie where it seams the stories are very similar. Glad she's managed to overcome that and is now killing it at the highest level. My 5 year old daughter loves watching the women's racing (XC, EWS and DH!). we're so lucky we have so many positive female role models in this sport.
  • 13 0
 Manchester has a lot to answer for.
  • 5 1
 ' Interesting how many British women that are based with British Cycling in Manchester get issues with eating and overtraining. I've listened to interviews with Katy Winton, Ella Conolly and now Evie where it seams the stories are very similar' mattyb84 I was thinking exactly the same thing as I read this.
  • 7 0
 Came in to make the same comment. It is also similar to the stories about the culture that came out of the track and road programmes
  • 3 0
 @Willikers: nice Smiths reference my friend
  • 33 0
 Would absolutely love to see more of this type of content PB. Really solid; I'm sure most of the community here would value having more content with deeper substance to it like this.
  • 17 0
 Was I the only one was reading her responses in her voice in my head?
  • 1 0
 Haha! Totaly
  • 1 0
 Ha ha. I definitely was.
  • 16 0
 Awesome. That's all there is to say about that.
  • 14 0
 A lot of hard-won self knowledge on display in that interview. Hard not to like the person who came through on the other side of those trials.
  • 10 0
 It's so refreshing to read these kinds of interviews from professional athletes. The mentality has completely shifted just in the last few years and I love it.
  • 9 0
 Excellent pictures and inspiring athlete!

The photography honours her power and her skills. She's really charging hard... :-o
  • 7 0
 Her technical coach Katy Curd recently posted a video of her on a wet and windy rooty section - she looked astonishingly better. It's very impressive she was able to improve upon her power to weight whilst increasing her body weight. With her athleticism she's the total package.
  • 6 0
 best human racer and best name to say in Bjart Brjjrentsxchenss voice. yah hewehave eevierishardss This house has teared up along with her in her post race interviews, for sure. Genuine vibes. Go Evie!
  • 5 0
 Eating disorders are a thing for endurance athletes?

I can’t imagine under eating and racing like that…how does that even work. Don’t you need energy for these crazy efforts?
  • 2 0
 to expand on that, is someone out there calling her "big" for an XC athlete? or anything for that matter? I see a strong rider / athlete. Not seeing the size issue she's referring to. Genuine comment. It's okay to be thin and...not thin? please help me understand.
  • 4 0
 @conv3rt: haha as a skinny guy I actually envy ‘healthy’ looking folks! More than they know I’m sure.
  • 1 0
 I read an interview with Bradley Wiggings where he attributed his success to gaining power then starving down his weight while maintaining the power in training... hence increasing his power to weight ratio. That strategy could explain these issues.
  • 2 0
 At some point competing a World Cup level in almost any sport is some balance of disorders if we are going to clinicise everything.

Evie has her struggles, and she is very engaging in talking about them and finding her balance.

It always amazes me at that high of a level the different psychological makeups of competitors. Realistically there is just one body type that makes up endurance athletes, and we're splitting hairs on variations within that.

To address another reply, I know terms like "big" ect. seem charged. So does openly talking about body types and body shaming and such. At the same time, we're evaluating athletes which is about a 1/4 step removed from talking about racehorses from an empirical standpoint. Some of them perform better with more mass, some with less. It is hard to talk about that and spare feelings?
  • 1 0
 @karatechris: that makes sense. I think I’ve read that before too actually
  • 1 0
 @nvranka: in hid Tyler Hamilton talks about how the easiest way to increase his power to weight is to lose weight and keep the power steady. When he felt the sleeves on his Lycra jersey flapping in the breeze it would make home happy. His girlfriend knew the TdF was nigh when she could see the shape of his liver through his skin. Sheesh!
  • 6 0
 We really don't use the term "chuffed" enough here in North America; I like it

Thanks for the great article!
  • 2 0
 She's fabulous! A Champion on and off the bike.....And a real inspiration. Races hard, and finishes with a big smile! I never understand why she has had so little confidence; she's got World Championship medals since she was an 18 year old.

And is in a select band of only 2 riders to have won Elite World Cups in CX, XCC, XCO....the other is a Dutchman.
  • 2 0
 I follow a lot of these athletes on social media, and many of them post pics and videos of their gym workouts, their power numbers, etc. Evie always posts pics of her having fun riding her bike, going to the beach, decorating her house (and of course a few podium shots). In other words, just being a twenty-something woman.
  • 4 0
 Such an amazing, humble and down to earth gal! Always stoked to see her ride!
  • 1 0
 From her side profile, her thighs are larger than her mid section. The amount of power she has has to be insane. That last race for 2021, she kept taking this other line on this climb from the pack and the last lap she just stomped it and got out front for the win.
  • 5 0
 Amazing photos.
  • 4 1
 even thinking about training on a pro cycling team while you're calorie deficient is bonkers. mega props to evie
  • 6 0
 In the early stages of the road season, many guys and girls are training deficient. You need some fat adaption to race at that level. Team Sky often did training camps where they would get up, have no breakfast, do 200k while eating small amounts on the bike, get back and have a salad then go to bed and repeat. People have no idea. The sport is totally brutal on and off the bike.
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: sheeeesh, all for weight savings I'm assuming? I'm sure they get insanely creative with the optimal input/output ratio for each athlete
  • 6 2
 Great rider, great interview, great content. Thanks PB!
  • 1 0
 Great feature, an easy person to root for. I've never seen Evie in person, but the pics remind me of Juliana Furtado in her heyday. Not surprising that Tracy Moseley is part of her story as well.
  • 2 0
 Truly inspirational! Evie has really become a fan favorite…so humble and approachable. Next season is gonna be exciting!
  • 2 0
 Super inspiring. What an awesome athlete and spokesperson for the sport. I hope she stays at the front for a while!
  • 2 2
 We Richards are awesome, from Keith to Evie, I'm proud of my fellow Richards. I'm of course one of the lesser known Richards, I'm probably a better rider than Evie but I don't want the press Wink
  • 1 0
 Top interview, amazing person! Looking forward to going bonkers with the fam in front of the telly again - may the season come quickly!
  • 2 0
 I've always enjoyed watching her ride. Super strong racer, but genuinely seems to be having a lot of fun on the bike.
  • 2 0
 Nice interview...she has a lot figured out..for racing and for life...she is an inspiration for young riders. Good one PB
  • 2 0
 Excellent article well done Ross - can we have more of this please Pink Bike.

Why not a video interview / podcast?
  • 3 0
 what a powerful racer!
  • 2 0
 What an amazing World Champion and even better person!
  • 2 0
 Evie is good vibes all around!
  • 1 0
 I saw Evie training a couple of years ago at FOD with Katy Curd. Amazing talent.
  • 1 0
 Amazing insight, Amazing young woman.
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