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The UCI just announced the top three nations from the 2023 CX worlds

One of them is close to home

Photo by: Connor Gregory

On Tuesday, the UCI posted the countries who fared the best at the recent ‘cross worlds in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands. If you watched the races, you definitely saw several (pale) orange jerseys winning or on the podium. Mathieu van der Poel took the elite men’s, Shirin van Anrooij won the u-23 women’s race, and Fem van Empel beat Puck Pieterse in the elite women’s race. On top of that, the Dutch took the relay event on Friday. Given that Wout van Aert took a close second behind MvdP, and Eli Iserbyt came in third, it’s no surprise that the two top nationalities after the weekend were the Dutch and the Belgians.

The last lap duel between Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert was incredible

As everyone knows, The Netherlands and Belgium are powerhouses of the ‘cross circuit. In all of the races it was common to see a sea of orange or powder blue  jerseys dominating the race. But there were another pair of powder blue jerseys that were also in the mix in one particular race which made history. Those jerseys didn’t have a black, yellow and red tricolor. They had a maple leaves.

Bella and Ava Holmgren, Maghalie Rochette on an historic day of cyclocross

Isabella and Ava Holmgren winning the junior world championships was an incredible feat. No Canadian had ever won a medal at the worlds, and the twins doubled up by taking two. And guess what that means? For the first time in history, Canada placed third overall in the rankings following the world championships. If you’re a long time fan of cyclocross, you may feel like you need to do a double take. What a sight to see. Hopefully this won’t be the last time with Canada at the top of the leader board. With plenty of talent at the junior and u-23 level, this may be the beginning of a brand new legacy.