Ostend, Belgium (February 1, 2021) – The cyclo-cross season wrapped up last weekend at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Ostend, Belgium, with riders fighting against the sand, wind and rain.
With only three Canadians competing, current Pan American Champion Maghalie Rochette opened up the competition in the women’s Elite category, finishing in 16th place. Rochette has been in Europe since October, battling injury and navigating through new training and living environments throughout the pandemic.
“I finished 16th today, and that’s definitely not the result that I was dreaming [of],” said Rochette. “I know I’m able to do better… I mean the preparation was good, but it was a sand race. There was a lot of running and I haven’t been running much since I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago. All that considered, I’m really happy mostly because I felt like I fought the whole race.”
The fighting continued into the second day as Under-23 riders braved the same course with temperatures hovering just above freezing.
U23 Pan American Champion Ruby West and Canadian Champion Sidney McGill both finished in the top-30 with West placing 21st and McGill coming in 27th, respectively. Despite the race being unforgiving from the start with the mix of ice and sand, the Canadian women finished seventh out of the thirty nations competing.
“I had a pretty tough race,” said McGill. “I kind of got stuck early on, right off the start, which pushed me to the back of the pack. But I tried my best to move up. I think that sand was just pretty hard, and it put me too deep into the red. By the time I made it back up, I was just completely maxed out.”
After back-to-back weekends of racing between the World Cup and World Championships, Rochette is proud to be finishing out the season and is motivated and excited for what is to come.