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17 Canadians will race first ‘cross World Cup in Waterloo but not Rochette

Reigning World Cup champs Brand and Iserbyt slated to line up in Wisconsin

The first race of the 2022-2023 UCI Cyclocross World Cup runs this Sunday in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and 17 of the 83 registered riders for the two elite races will be Canadians. However, Maghalie Rochette is not on the UCI’s official entry list.

The Canadian men will be Hugo Brisebois, Trevor O’Donnell, Noah Ramsey, Brody Sanderson, Cody Scott, Benjamin Sweet, Luke Valenti, Michael van den Ham, Alexandre Vialle and Alex Woodford.

The Canadian women’s contingent will be Christiane Bilodeau, Jenaya Francis, Ava and Isabella Holmgren, Siobhan Kelly, Sidney McGill and Katelyn Walcroft.

Last season, Rochette was 10th in Waterloo and 7th three days later in Fayetteville. She had two World Cup podiums in a row at Besançon and Val di Sole, finishing 16th overall in the elite women’s category despite missing six of the 15 rounds. She took seventh in the World Championships.

Rochette handled the snow at Val di Sole last year to take third.

In an interview with the CXHAIRS Bulletin on September 28, Rochette talked about the COVID-19 she caught in July after a fine mountain bike racing spring and how the illness has affected her early cyclocross season form. After coming fifth September 17 in Roanoke, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross’s C1 race, she didn’t start the second day. A week later in Rochester, NY, she didn’t finish the C1 and didn’t start the C2.

World Cup reigning champion Lucinda Brand is back for Sunday, but not last year’s Waterloo victor and rainbow jersey holder Marianne Vos. There are no Belgian women coming to Waterloo but plenty of Belgian men. World Cup and Waterloo titlist Eli Iserbyt means to get his season off and running. There will be no World Champion Tom Pidcock.

Next weekend the World Cup heads back to Fayetteville, Arkansas. There will be a round in Dublin, Ireland on December 11.