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UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships 2022

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OOSTENDE BELGIUM JANUARY 30 Podium Annemarie Worst of The Netherlands Silver medal Lucinda Brand of The Netherlands World Champion Jersey Gold medal and Denise Betsema of The Netherlands Bronze medal Celebration Rainbow Jersey Mask Covid safety measures 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

The Netherlands swept the elite women's podium and won all four races at the 2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships return to the US in 2022 for the second time in the history of the event, taking place in Fayetteville, Arkansas from January 28-31 at Centennial Park and are sponsored by Walmart.

The venue held a World Cup in torrential downpours in October, where reigning World Champion Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) prevailed in the elite women's race and Quinten Hermans (Belgium) took the men's victory.

While Brand will travel to the US to defend her title, elite men's champion Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) is out with an injury and his rival Wout van Aert (Belgium) has opted to skip the event to focus on training for the road season.

Brand is the outright favourite for the women's race, having won 16 of the 25 races she has competed in this season and all but four of her races since the beginning of November.

It is likely that any rivals will come from within her Dutch team. Marianne Vos topped Brand for the Dutch title and the Rucphen World Cup this season, while Annemarie Worst and Denise Betsema have also been able to beat Brand.

From the rest of the world, US Champion Clara Honsinger, Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), Maghalie Rochette (Canada), Hélene Clauzel (France) and Sanne Cant (Belgium) are the only non-Dutch riders in the top 15 of the UCI rankings.

The elite men's field is similarly dominated but by the Belgians. However, in the absence of Van der Poel and Van Aert, it's Olympic mountain bike champion Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) who is the favourite to take the rainbow bands.

Fem van Empel is the favourite to repeat as U23 women's champion and again, her rivals come from the Dutch team, with Shirin van Anrooij and Puck Pieterse ranked in the top 10 of the elites. Katie Clouse is the favourite for the Americans in the field.

Van Anrooij won the last junior women's title in 2019 but all of the riders have aged up since then. Zoe Bäckstedt (Great Britain), the current top-ranked junior woman, missed the British championships after testing positive for COVID but should have enough time to regain form to keep her status as favourite. She'll face off against the top Dutch rider Leonie Bentveld.

In the men's U23 field, Thibau Nys, the last junior world champion, fractured his collarbone and has an asterisk next to his name for Worlds but has a capable reinforcements in Niels Vandeputte. However, the Dutch riders - defending champion Pim Ronhaar and Ryan Kamp will be tough to beat.

Similarly, in the junior men's race, Dutchman David Haverdings is the top favourite with American Jack Spranger the host country's hopeful.

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2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships schedule

Friday, January 28
12:30 p.m. - Team Relay

Saturday, January 29
11:00 a.m. - UCI Women Junior
1:00 p.m. - UCI Men Under-23
2:30 p.m. - UCI Women Elite

Sunday, January 30
11:00 a.m. - UCI Men Junior
1:00 p.m. - UCI Women Under-23
2:30 p.m. - UCI Men Elite

All times listed are CST

Stages

  • UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships 2022
    28 January 2022 | Fayetteville, Arkansas | CM
    • Junior Women | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-29
    • U23 Men | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-29
    • Elite Women | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-29
    • Junior Men | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-30
    • U23 Women | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-30
    • Elite Men | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-30
    • Team Relay | Fayetteville - Fayetteville
      2022-01-28

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