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Team USA

Team USA Sees Five Top-15 Finishes at Cyclocross World Championships

By: Tom Mahoney  January 29, 2022

The Americans felt the energy from the crowd today at the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclocross World Championships.

The 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Arkansas delivered a crowd of over 6,000 spectators today that showed the world America’s cyclocross pride. Every U.S. athlete could feel the absolute energy of the crowd that propelled them forward in their races for the day. Today, the Junior Women, U23 Men, and Elite Women went head-to-head in Centennial Park.

Junior Women

The five-member Team USA Junior Women’s squad had a rough start to their event, with the first rider starting in the second row. There was plenty of time to recover, but that meant the team had to work their way up to the front. Katherine Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; CX Hairs Devo/ Trek Bikes) and Keira Bond (Louisville, Colo.; Boulder Junior Cycling) finished their first lap in 11th and 12th, respectively. Throughout the lap Sarkisov worked her way up to 9th, but would eventually finish 11th with Bond in 12th and Chloe Fraser (Boulder, Colo.; Boulder Junior Cycling) rounding out the top-15.

Sarkisov commented on her performance “I felt really good in the first 3 laps, I think I may have gone a little too hard and I started to fade on the last two laps. I was not super stoked about that because usually I feel better towards the end of the race and I am able to catch on. This time I really wasn’t able to do that. But it was a ton of fun and great to have the whole U.S. crowd out here.”

As with Sarkisov, Bond also felt the energy of the crowd out on course. “It really felt surreal. The whole race was just super crazy. I didn’t have the best start and so I did get into my head a little bit about that. During the race I was just thinking how hard can I push myself and how hard can I go based on the last race that I did. [On the last lap.] I was really just thinking about everyone that was screaming at me. It was hard to not think about it with how loud they were. I was just thinking about everyone that has supported me this season and just riding for them,” said Bond.


1. Zoe Backstedt (GBR) 41:16

2. Leonie Bentveld (NED) +0:32

3. Lauren Molengraaf (NED) +0:57

11. Katherine Sarkisov (USA) +2:07

12. Keria Bond (USA) +2:53

14. Chloe Fraser (USA) +3:23

18. Mia Aseltine (USA) +4:23

24. Elsa Westenfelder (USA) +7:38

U23 Men

Scott Funston (Maple Valley, Wash.; Blue-Stages Racing) went into today’s race as one of the favorites and he showed the world why. Funston had a great start and crossed the line after lap one in the lead group of 14 riders. A few seconds back included the chase group of a few riders including American Andrew Strohmeyer (Mount Airy, Md.; CX Hairs Devo/ Trek Bikes). Going into lap two the lead group was still together. 13 minutes into the race, the Belgian Joran Wyseure made the attack creating a 7-second gap on the pack as they headed into lap three. The chase group include three Dutch riders, three Belgians, and one rider from Team GB. As the pace started to pick up from the attack, Funston was able to hold on to the top 15, but fell off the group. The Belgians swept the podium. With Funston and Strohmeyer sprinting it out for the top-20.

Funston was pleased with the race he had today.

“It was brutally fast. The crowd was amazing. It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a bike. It was really surreal to be out there. I rode about the best race I could. I made a couple mistakes, but they were minor,” said Funston. “That first lap going down the hill, I had a really great start. I found a hole and just punched through it. It's potentially once in a career opportunity to race in a home World Championships so I was like ‘I’m just going to go for it.’ I tried to ride a really smart race and not get caught up on that hill. I think I did a good job of not overextending myself. That first two laps when I was with the lead group was awesome. I knew I was hurting and I probably was not going to stay with them, but still just to even have the potential of being in contention for a medal was an awesome.”

1. Jordan Wyseure (BEL) 49:21

2. Emiel Verstrynge (BEL) +0:13

3. Thibau Nys (BEL) +0:33

17. Scott Funston (USA) +2:44

21. Andrew Strohmeyer (USA) +3:12

23. Daxton Mock (USA) +3:46

28. Jules Van Kempen (USA) +4:33

29. Sam Noel (USA) +4:39

36. Tommy Servetas (USA) +5:41

Elite Women

On lap one, the Dutch controlled the race running the top 5. Clara Honsinger (Portland, Ore.; Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) was sitting 17th should not have been counted out just yet. The front of the race was a battle between Lucina Brand (NED) and Mariana Vos (NED), who went head-to-head the entire race starting from lap two. They played games with each other throughout the race with Brand leading until lap four, then forcing Vos to take the lead. It came down to a sprint finish where Vos just edged out the reigning World Champion, Brand, to take her eighth Elite Women’s cyclocross world title. Honsinger slowly moved her way up through the pack, but did not have the best day. She still managed to finish in 11th with Raylyn Nuss (Lawrence, Kan.; Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) have a great ride in the top 15 in her World Championship debut.

“Honestly, I was so in the zone and I had a plan for every turn on that course. So, I was just taking it turn by turn. The crowd was absolutely buzzing and that was the best part. Up that hill, you could just throttle their energy. I’m just happy. It was a good day. The fans were amazing. The course was fun. The sun was shining. You couldn’t ask for a better ending to the season,” said Nuss.


1. Marianna Vos (NED) 55:00

2. Lucinda Brand (NED) +0:01

3. Silvia Persico (ITA) +0:51

11. Clara Honsinger (USA) +2:27

15. Raylyn Nuss (USA) +2:51

21. Hannah Arensman (USA) +4:19

25. Anna Megale (USA) +5:41

26. Caitlin Bernstein (USA) +5:41

27. Erica Zaveta (USA) +6:45

28. Rebecca Fahringer (USA)

Watch all the races live on Global Cycling Network. Follow @USACyclingLIVE on Twitter for live updates throughout the week along with @UCI_CX.

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