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Honsinger repeats as US cyclo-cross champion

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Clara Honsinger repeats as US national champion in Wheaton, IL

Clara Honsinger repeats as US national champion in Wheaton, IL (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Clara Honsinger is your 2021 Elite Women's National Champion

Clara Honsinger (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) won her second elite women's CX national crown, this time at Cantigny Park in DuPage County, Illinois (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Sunny Gilbert leads into corner 1 first lap

And they're off... led by Sunny Gilbert into the first turn of the elite women's contest (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Clara Honsinger leads through Mt ABUS with 2 to go

Clara Honsinger leads up the Mt Abus climb with two laps to go (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Clara Honsinger leads the race down ABUS hill on the first lap.

Clara Honsinger on the first lap unclips to negotiate a corner descending Mt Abus (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Clara Honsinger leads through Pony Shop sand pit on lap 1

In the long sand pit Clara Honsinger rides at the front on lap one (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Taylor KUYK-WHITE, doubled up for the week, finishing 6th in the Elite race after winning the Masters Women 35-39 age group on Friday

Taylor Kuyk-White, doubled up for the week, finishing sixth in the Elite race after winning the Masters Women 35-39 age group on Friday (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Elite Women's podium, Clara Honsinger, Raylyn Nuss, Sunny Gilbert

Elite women's podium (L to R): second place Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing), winner Clara Honsinger (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), third place Sunny Gilbert (Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build) (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Raylyn Nuss finishes in second place

Raylyn Nuss finishes second (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Sunny Gilbert and Hannah Arensman heading to Mt ABUS on the final lap

Sunny Gilbert held a short lead on Hannah Arensman (Sycamore Cycles) going into the final lap (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Sunny Gilbert and Hannah Arensman sprinted it out for 3rd

Sunny Gilbert holds off Hannah Arensman for third place (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)
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Sara Strum celebrates at the finish

Sara Sturm celebrates her finish in the women's elite race with 21st place (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)

Clara Honsinger (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) came into the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships off the back of a successful early-season campaign that included a World Cup podium and a victory at Koppenbergcross, so it was no surprise when the 24-year-old repeated as elite women's national champion.

Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation) got around Gilbert to finish second, while Gilbert held on to take third ahead of Hannah Arensman (Sycamore Cycles).

Honsinger tucked in behind Sunny Gilbert (Blue Competition Cycles), who took the hole shot, then made her move in the sandpit. The only rider able to stay on the bike for the whole section, Honsinger emerged with a gap that she only added to with every lap.

On a sunny, blustery day, Honsinger battled with thick mud coating her bike. Thanks to the quick work of her pit crew, she never struggled and won with more than three minutes to spare over Nuss.

It was a title defence delayed by one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic cancellations of 2020, but Honsinger is looking forward to a third year in the stars and stripes.

"Honestly I think I took it for granted that I got two years in the jersey without having to fight the second year. Coming into this race, I said I feel very comfortable in this jersey and I don't want to give it up," Honsinger said.

"Having not raced with these women, I didn't know what to expect so I just went full gas."

Honsinger will head back to Europe in the morning for a full campaign that ends in time for her to return to US soil for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

"I think folks identify me as the one in the stars and stripes, so I also felt pressure to come back and represent the United States in this jersey," Honsinger said.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 0:47:42
2Raylyn Nuss (USA) Steve Tilford Foundation Racing 0:03:16
3Sunny Gilbert (USA) Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build 0:03:23
4Hannah Arensman (USA) Sycamore Cycles 0:03:25
5Anna Megale (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective 0:05:11
6Taylor Kuyk-White (USA) RSCX - HOUSE INDUSTRIES 0:05:16
7Caitlin Bernstein (USA) Easton Overland / MCGOVERN CYCLES 0:06:03
8Erica Zaveta (USA) The Pony Shop p/b KPMG 0:06:21
9Emily Werner (USA) Emmys Sweets pb Kens Bike Shop 0:06:45
10Austin Killips (USA) Pratt Racing 0:07:14
11Traci Judge (USA) 0:07:35
12Jennifer Malik (USA) Paradise Garage Racing p/b Smanie 0:07:57
13Emily Schaldach (USA) BitchNGrit: Firefly TenSpeed Hero 0:08:00
14Sophie Russenberger (USA) Team S&M CX 0:08:06
15Crystal Anthony (USA) Liv Racing Collective 0:08:28
16Anne Usher (USA) Fast Fun Nice p/b Wattie Ink 0:08:58
17Amelia Shea (USA) 0:10:18
18Brenna Wrye-Simpson (USA) Team S&M CX 0:10:35
19Jenna Lingwood (USA) Point S Auto p/b Nokian Tyres 0:10:48
20Rebecca Gross (USA) Zero D Racing 0:10:54
21Sarah Sturm (USA) Specialized/Rapha/Sram 0:10:58
22Caitlin Neuman (USA) 0:11:34
23Rachel Rubino (USA) Pratt Racing 0:11:35
24Rachel Geiter (USA) Team Walla Walla 0:11:42
25Britt Mason (USA) Knobby by Nature 0:12:04
26Brooke Lyman (USA) Duke University 0:12:36
27Anna Dorovskikh (USA) Orion Racing 0:12:53
28Erin Feldhausen (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective 0:13:56
29Molly Clark-Oien (USA) Parallel 44 Racing p/b Sanford POWER 0:14:01
30Clementine Nixon (USA) RSCX- HOUSE INDUSTRIES 0:17:19
31Laura Alagna (USA) The pony Shop p.b. KPMG
32Elizabeth Sheldon (USA) CXHAIRS DEVO : TREK BIKES
33Tori Glascock (USA) Team EPS p/b Brielle Cyclery
34Danielle Power (USA) Corner Cycle
35Ivy Audrain (USA) Hand Up X The Black Bibs X Squid Bikes
36Purshall Artison (USA) A Dugast USA

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.

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