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Cyclocross

Q&A: Clara Honsinger is ready to tackle the 2021-22 cyclocross season

The U.S. national champion talks about her new bike, European road racing, and her favorite 'cross courses.

Clara Honsinger (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) is the reigning U.S. national champion, a title she took from Katie Compton in 2019.

Since then, Honsinger has put together an impressive string of performances in the top European races, culminating in fourth place at the 2021 UCI world cyclocross championships in Ostende.

How have you been keeping busy during the off-season?

The off-season has been very busy racing the road with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. I was over in Europe earlier in the year racing Thuringen Rundfahrt, La Course, and the Giro Donne. I just wrapped up the road season in the United States with the Joe Martin Stage Race, and I am transitioning into cyclocross prep with Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com.

How’s the CX training going? Any changes to the way you’ve prepared for the season?

Honestly, the real CX training has just begun. I have never raced such a full road season before, so I am coming into the CX season with great fitness. Right now my biggest focus is on skills, running, and technique, plus some fun mountain bike rides while the weather is nice.

What are your targets for this coming season?

As with most U.S. cyclocrossers, I’m putting a lot of my focus on USA Nationals in Chicago and Worlds in Fayetteville — these are two extremely important races for Americans, especially after most of last season being canceled. Additionally, I’m also looking forward to heading back over to Belgium and racing some iconic courses, such as Koksijde and Koppenbergcross.

Which courses/races are your favorites?

I really enjoy the Waterloo and Iowa City World Cup courses – they’re extremely physically and technically demanding, especially in the rain and slop. I’m curious to see what the Fayetteville World Cup and Worlds course will look like. From what I’ve heard, the event organizers have built some massive features, such as a two-story staircase and steep off-camber. It will be exciting to see how it races.

Do you have any equipment upgrades for the coming season?

I’ll be racing the new Cannondale SuperSix Evo CX bike. I spent the summer training on it and it snaps out of corners like the road bike, but is still agile and smooth over trails and drops.