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Weekend CX roundup: Rochette falters, then recovers, Pidcock gets his win

Two days of World Cup ‘cross action

There were two big races this weekend, with the ‘cross circuit heading to Holland on Saturday, then south to Belgium on Sunday.


On Saturday’s 10th round of the 2021-2022 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Brit Tom Pidcock never stopped working to pin back Eli Iserbyt and caught the series leader on the final barriers to take his first World Cup win. Pidcock won on a fast course after the mud at Superprestige Boom and snow last week in the Val di Sole World Cup round. It was the first time in almost eight years that a Dutch or Belgian rider didn’t win an elite men’s World Cup. Rucphen was held without fans.

There was no Wout Van Aert in Rucphen, as he was off on a training block, and Mathieu van der Poel’s season debut was delayed because of a knee injury. However, Canadian champ Michael van den Ham was racing, as was Cameron Jette.

2021-2022 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Round 10, Rucphen

1) Tom Pidcock (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +1:03:26
2) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:03
3) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:08
44) Michael van den Ham (Canada) +5:22
55) Cameron Jette (Canada)

Marianne Vos beat World Cup leader Lucinda Brand in a two-up sprint to take her third round of the 2021-2022 series on Saturday in Rucphen, the Netherlands. Maghalie Rochette’s sweet streak of two World Cup podiums and a fourth place in the Superprestige series’ Boom round came to an abrupt end on Saturday, as the Canadian could only manage 23rd, her lowest result of the season. After the mudfest of the Superprestige Boom course and the snow of Val di Sole, Rucphen was a fast course: “Positioning will be very important today,” Rochette said before the race. There were no fans in Rucphen.

2021-2022 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Round 11, Rucphen

1) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) 54:14
2) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) s.t.
3) Denise Betsema (The Netherlands/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:08
23) Maghalie Rochette (Canada/Specialized) +3:37
45) Sidney McGill (Canada) +6:50
55) Siobhan Kelly (Canada)


Michael Vanthourenhout won the first round of last year’s truncated World Cup season, and on Sunday he took his first 2021-2022 World Cup victory, beating Tom Pidcock, who triumphed on Saturday’s round in the Netherlands. After the closed course in Rucphen, the Namur atmosphere was loud and rowdy. World Cup leader Eli Iserbyt had a mediocre race, placing fifth, but he still has a healthy 90-point lead over Vanthourenhout at the top of the table. Canada’s Michael van den Ham came in 45th.

2021-2022 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Round 12, Namur

1) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:08
2) Tom Pidcock (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +0:36
3) Toon Aerts (Belgium/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:51
45) Michael van den Ham (Canada)

After disappointment on Saturday’s Rucphen round of the World Cup, Canadian champion Maghalie Rochette bounced back with 10th place at a muddy Namur, Belgium course on Sunday. Lucinda Brand claimed the Namur round of the World Cup for the fourth time in her career on Sunday, the victory also her fourth win of the 2021-2022 series. After the silence of the Rucphen race, the Namur crowds were loud and rowdy.

There were 16 Canadians racing in the five contests at Namur. In the earlier races, Ava Holmgren had the best Canadian result, finishing 7th in the Junior women’s run, while her twin Isabella was 17th. Jenaya Francis came in 20th and Kiara Lylyk was 28th. Luke Valenti was the best Canadian in the Junior men’s race, and his compatriots Ian Ackerk, Ian Woodford and Sasha Renaud Tremblay placed 45th, 46th and 60th respectively. In the men’s U23 race, Matthew Liliveld came in 42nd and Hugo Brisebois came in 46th.

2021-2022 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Round 12, Namur

1) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) 53:07
2) Denise Betsema (The Netherlands/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:20
3) Puck Pieterse (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Fenix) +1:16
10) Maghalie Rochette (Canada/Specialized) +1:56
29) Sidney McGill (Canada) +6:14
64) Siobhan Kelly (Canada)
66) Christiane Bilodeau (Canada)
67) Katelyn Walcroft (Canada)