Home > Cyclocross

Canadian women are favourites at the 2022 cyclocross world championships

This year's national team is super strong


The 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships are taking place on Saturday and Sunday, and holy smokes, Canada might dominate.

There’s been a Canadian contingent riding in all of the World Cups this fall and winter, and now there’s a record 26 Canuck cyclists heading to Fayetteville, Ark for the world championships.

The weather will be milder (in theory) than the usual world champs, but at this point, who knows. All the favourites will be there, with the exception of Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.

This is also a year where Canadian women are set to have some great rides.

Canada’s top ‘crosser, Maghalie Rochette, is targeting the rainbow jersey with the elite women.

“My return home was good and since then I’ve been able to get in some solid training to sharpen up the form before the big race,” Rochette said. “I’m feeling excited and confident. It’s cool that the race is finally upon us, after spending so many days and training sessions thinking about it. For me, I approach it kind of as a celebration of all the hard work and preparation that went towards it.”

In the junior category Canada has some big-time chances in the Holmgren sisters. Ava and Bella Holmgren are the odds-on favourites for the rainbow jersey in the junior category.

“The trip back to Canada went very smooth,” Isabella Holmgren said. “Once we got home we made sure to keep our contacts to a minimum to stay healthy before leaving to Arkansas for worlds. The weather in Canada was very cold so training consisted mostly of roller rides, runs, weights and snowshoeing. We are now in Arkansas and it’s nice to be able to ride on the roads. I’m very excited to race next week and give it my all, and I’m especially excited to cheer on all the Canadians and watch the best in the world race again.”

Canada is sending a full squad of junior women, including Kiara May Lylyk. “After Belgium I took a bit of a break to reset, then I got back to work. I’ve been enjoying some long mountain bike rides in the snow, and also a fair amount of intervals in the trainer. I’m feeling really excited for Worlds. I can’t wait to represent the country and learn from everyone around me.”|

Another junior woman to watch is Jenaya Francis, who has been behind the Holmgrens when the juniors raced with the elite women at the Superprestige in Zolder. The fifth junior woman is Ella Myers, giving Canada plenty of chances for big results.

Katelyn Walcroft is one of three women racing for Canada in the u-23 category. “I’ve been putting in lots of hard work the past couple of weeks after taking a bit of a break after the Christmas Cross period over in Belgium.” She said. “I’m feeling pretty pumped and ready to give it my all!”

The cross worlds begin Saturday. You can watch them on Flobikes.com