10 riders will compete for the Great Britain Cycling Team at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 January.
In the elite men’s category Tom Pidcock will be riding with the aim of becoming Great Britain’s first elite cyclo-cross world champion, following world cup victories this season in Rucphen and Hulst. Pidcock was second to Mathieu van der Poel in the men’s elite race at the 2020 world championships in Dübendorf, and fourth last year in Ostend.
Pidcock will be joined on the start line in Fayetteville by Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Ben Turner and newly-crowned elite national champion Thomas Mein, following his thrilling victory in Crawley earlier this month.
In the junior women’s category Zoe Bäckstedt will be looking to add another rainbow jersey to her collection, following her victory in the road race at the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders. Bäckstedt was crowned junior women’s European cyclo-cross champion in November, and also took the win in December’s world cup round in Namur. She will be joined in the category by Ella Maclean-Howell, who was victorious in the junior women’s category in Crawley.
Anna Kay will be looking to cap off a strong season as the team’s sole representative in the elite women’s category, while Harriet Harnden will compete in the women’s under-23 category, and arrives in Arkansas with high hopes after impressively retaining the elite national champion’s jersey this month.
Cameron Mason claimed his first under-23 world cup victory in Dendermonde on Boxing Day and was third at the round in Tabor, adding to a palmares which also includes third place in the same category at the 2020 UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships. He will be joined in the under-23 men’s race by Joseph Blackmore, following his third place finish in the elite race at the national championships, while Nathan Smith will be Great Britain’s sole entrant in the junior men’s category. Smith has battled to a series of impressive results this season, including second place finishes at the Dendermonde and Tabor world cup rounds.
British Cycling Performance Director, Stephen Park CBE, said: “There has never been a more exciting time to be a British cyclo-cross fan, and I’m delighted that we’re able to take such a strong team to Fayetteville, with medal contenders across all categories.
“Clearly the additional challenges entailed in getting to this year’s championships has impacted on the number of riders we are able to field, and has limited our ability to take riders as part of their development journey towards competing for podium places in future years. That said, we’re excited by the challenge ahead of us and I’m certain that the team will once again do the jersey proud.
“It’s been fantastic to see Tom, Zoe and Cameron all topping podiums at world cup rounds in recent months and cementing our place as a real force to be reckoned with in the sport. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support their ambitions throughout the season and provide them with a fantastic platform to fulfil their potential, which we’re able to do thanks to the continued backing of British Cycling members across the country.”
Ella Maclean Howell