The 2021 USA Cycling national cyclocross championships were staged in Cantigny Park, next to a golf course, some 30 miles west of Chicago.
While storms brought rain and then wind a day before the start of elite racing, it was the mud that proved challenging for some, while others thrived in the technical conditions.
Clara Honsinger showed up at the start in her two-year-old national champion’s jersey and proved her win in 2019 was no fluke.
Raylyn Nuss and Clara Honsinger waited for staging to begin.
Sunny Gilbert led into corner 1 on the first lap.
Honsinger led through the Pony Shop sandpit on lap one.
Honsinger looked across the wooded section at the end of lap one and saw no one.
Muddy conditions made parts of the course unrideable for even Honsinger, the eventual winner.
Ivy Audrain began her post-race celebrations mid-race at the New Belgium stairs.
Clara Honsinger led the race up the New Belgium stairs on lap three.
Krystal Anthony headed toward pit 2.
Hannah Arensman moved into third place after Sunny Gilbert went down in pit 1 in the closing laps.
Raylyn Nuss bounded over the Shimano barriers for the final time.
Clara Honsinger is your 2021 elite women’s national champion.
Stu Thorn congratulated Honsinger on her back-to-back national championships.
Raylyn Nuss finished in second place.
Sunny Gilbert and Hannah Arensman sprinted it out for third.
Sunny Gilbert and Hannah Arensman congratulated one another after the finish.
VeloNews’ Greg Kaplan interviewed the two-time national champion, Honsinger.
Chicago native Austin Killips finished tenth in her first national championships.
Sarah Sturm celebrated at the finish.