Q&A: Maghalie Rochette can’t wait for ‘cross season start after ‘amazing’ summer training

The 28-year-old Canadian has the top step on the podium in her sights after a summer of solid training.

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Pan-American champion Maghalie Rochette (Specialized/Feedback Sports) is a regular on the European cyclocross circuit.

The 28-year-old from Quebec won the 2019 UCI World Cup in Iowa City — a feat she’ll be looking to repeat this year.

How have you been keeping busy during the off-season?
I’ve been training specifically for cyclocross all summer. I couldn’t go to Europe until August because I overstayed last year to be able to finish the season through COVID [lockdown]. Additionally, being Canadian, I couldn’t easily come race in the U.S. since the border was closed. So I did a bunch of races in Canada, which included some road racing, some UCI MTB events, and some gravel events. I really wanted to race, because I saw last year how it affected me to not race for a full summer. I’m happy about the summer we had! I made the most of being home and trained as best I could.

Also read: Cyclocross — what is it, where did it come from, and how to start racing

How’s the CX training going? Any changes to the way you’ve prepared for the season?
Training is going amazing. Yes, I really stepped up my training this year. For a few years, I’ve been eyeing the 2021-22 season as the one where I wanted to be at my best, partly because of the worlds being in North America. In the past, even when I was at my best, I was never the best in Europe. I could do some top-5s, top-10s, but the best women were better than me, so I had a gap to fill. I worked hard on trying to fill that gap this summer.

What are your targets for this coming season?
There are a few. The main one is the 2022 World Championships in Fayetteville. I’m also targeting the beginning of the season with the three World Cups in the U.S. Finally, Christmas is a moment where I’ll try to be pretty fit.

Which courses/races are your favorites?
I really love Iowa City’s Jingle Cross. Namur is also a favorite. And on the North American scene, I love Rochester and Waterloo.
LOL — really I love most of them! I’m super excited to check out the Fayetteville course, too.

Do you have any equipment upgrades for the coming season?
I’m keeping all the same sponsors — equipment-wise, that means I’m still with Specialized, SRAM, Roval. But…yes, there will be upgrades! Can’t talk much about it quite yet though 🙂