Clara Honsinger draws motivation from fourth place at Cyclo-cross Worlds

OOSTENDE BELGIUM JANUARY 30 Clara Honsinger of The United States during the 72nd UCI CycloCross World Championships Oostende 2021 Women Elite a 146km UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 CX on January 30 2021 in Oostende Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The Netherlands swept the podium in the elite women’s race at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships, but Clara Honsinger (USA) proved the best of the rest as she rode to 4th place in Ostend on Saturday.

Honsinger came to the Worlds buoyed by her displays in the shortened World Cup series this winter. The 23-year-old placed second in the Namur and Dendermonde World Cups, eventually placing 4th overall in the series.

She produced a well-gauged effort in the sand of Ostend on Saturday, picking her way through the field after the Dutch squad tore the race apart early on. While eventual world champion Lucinda Brand, Annemarie Worst and Denise Betsema proved out of reach, Honsinger overhauled defending champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado on the final lap to come home in 4th, 52 seconds behind Brand.

“Today’s race was a huge challenge between the sand and the cold rain, but difficult conditions suit me well,” Honsinger said. “I rode a steady race and continued to catch riders. It feels extremely satisfying to finish the season with a fourth-place finish at Worlds. I’m looking forward to some rest but extremely motivated for next year.”

Honsinger was the only non-Dutch rider in the top 6 on Saturday, and her displays this winter mark a further step forward after she ended Katie Compton’s 15-year winning streak at the US National Championships in December 2019. Compton was also in action in Ostend, placing 21st.

USA Cycling cyclo-cross manager Jesse Anthony paid tribute to Honsinger’s pacing on a demanding Ostend course.

“Clara rode a really good race. She put in a very solid first lap and put herself in a good position early in the race.  The front three riders separated themselves early, and Clara did a great job moving forward through the field to mount her chase for the podium,” said Anthony. “She rode consistent laps and minimized mistakes, which was one of the keys today.”

Honsinger, who races for Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld Pro Cycling, will compete on the road in the colours of Tibo-SVB in 2021.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.