Maghalie Rochette skips Pan American Cyclo-cross Championships title defence

Maghalie Rochette
Maghalie Rochette who will be giving up the jersey of the the Pan American champion on the weekend (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Maghalie Rochette (Specialized-Feedback Sports) will not be among the Canadians heading to the Pan American Cyclo-cross Championships in Garland, Texas this weekend. The two-time elite champion would have been among the favourites if she were to attend, particularly after placing second in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Besançon, but with calendar clashes in Europe the rider made the tough decision to miss out on a chance to retain the jersey.

Rochette is set to race Superprestige Boom on Saturday and was due to ride the now-cancelled UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Antwerpen on Sunday.

“It has been a huge honor to be the Pan American champion for the last 3 years,” Rochette said, while also expressing her disappointment at not being able to compete in Garland. 

“Unfortunately, the race date conflicts heavily with the World Cup calendar, making it a huge disadvantage to any North American trying to be competitive on the World Cup circuit,” she said.

“Hopefully in the future, we will have a Continental Championships on the same date as the European Championships to try to even out the playing field.”

In Rochette’s absence, her compatriots racing for various trade teams will be in action across the weekend’s races, and seven development riders will compete for Cycling Canada.

Current U23 Pan American champion Ruby West will be among the contenders as she makes her debut in the elite category.

“I’m really excited for the Pan Am Championships this year,” West said. “I think it’ll be a dry and fast course based on what I’ve heard about that venue and past races held there. 

“I’m not fully sure what to expect, but I know I’m on good form right now and I’m really thrilled and motivated for this race. This will mark my first race in the Elite category and my first time racing Pan Ams since coming away with the U23 title, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do this time.”

Among the seven junior riders competing are twins Ava and Isabella Holmgren, who raced the senior World Cup races in Waterloo, Fayetteville and Iowa City earlier this season. Also racing are national under-17 mountain bike champion Ian Ackert, and track talent Kiara Lylyk.

The Pan American Championships will see the elite and U23 titles decided on Saturday 4 November, and the junior races contested on Sunday 5 December. 

Cyclingnews has reached out to Cycling Canada to confirm the final roster of Canadians set to compete at the 2021 Pan American Cyclo-cross Championships.

  • Jenaya Francis (Juventus CC) - Junior Women
  • Alexander Woodfoord (Ride With Rendall) - Junior Men
  • Ben Sweet (Hardwood Next Wave) - Junior Men
  • Christiane Bilodeau (Juventus CC) - U23 Women
  • Katelyn Walcroft (Hardwood Next Wave) - U23 Women
  • Hugo Brisebois (Ride With Rendall) - U23 Men
  • Tyler Clark (Homestead Racing) - U23 Men
  • Owen Clark (Homestead Racing) - U23 Men
  • Noah Ramsay (Bateman's Bicycle Co) - U23 Men
  • Siobhan Kelly (Black Dog Racing) - Elite Women
  • Ruby West (Independent) - Elite Women
  • Malcolm Barton (Durham Shredders) - Elite Men
  • Michael van den Ham (Easton Giant) - Elite Men
  • Tyler Orschel (Durham Shredders) - Elite Men
  • Brody Sanderson (AWI P/B The Crank & Sprocket Bicycle co.) - Elite Men
  • Alexandre Vialle (Independent) - Elite Men

Team Canada

  • Ava Holmgren – Junior Women
  • Isabella Holmgren – Junior Women
  • Kiara Lylyk  – Junior Women
  • Ian Ackert – Junior Men
  • Theo de Groote – Junior Men
  • Luke Valenti – Junior Men
  • Matt Leliveld – U23 Men

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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.