Preview World Cup Waterloo 2022

Sunday the 30th edition of the World Cup kicks off in Waterloo. The first of 14 heats has lured the top international cyclocross riders to America, where two World Cups will be held. Who will be the successors to Eli Iserbyt and Marianne Vos? is presenting the Preview World Cup Waterloo 2022!

Preview Cyclocross World Cup Waterloo 2022


Waterloo, in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, is the rendezvous point for the real start of the World Cup, renewed two years ago. We are now up to the 30th edition of the most prestigious regularity criterion. Last year there were sixteen World Cups on the crowded schedule; this year there are fourteen more. The World Cup is the showpiece of the International Cycling Union UCI, but is outsourced to Flanders Classics, also organizer of the Superprestige and a host of Flemish road races, including the Tour of Flanders.

So the opening race will take place in Waterloo (between Madison and Milwaukee), around the buildings of the headquarters of bike manufacturer Trek, also the event’s main sponsor. In 2015, the World Cup first pitched its tents in the US, in Las Vegas to be exact. A year later, Iowa City was added. And another year later, Las Vegas gave way to Waterloo.

With Mathieu van der Poel in the men’s race and Sanne Cant in the women’s, the small town in Jefferson County immediately had top riders on the highest scaffold. Van der Poel was in a class of his own in that first edition; the Dutchman rode away from his competitors early in the hour. Then-world champion Wout van Aert did not get there in the blazing sun and had to make peace with place seven.

Toon Aerts (2018), Eli Iserbyt (2019 and 2021) are the other men who adorn the list of honor at the WB moto in Waterloo, among the women are Marianne Vos (2018 and 2021) and Katerina Nash (2019).

Latest winners flag-us [World Cup Waterloo]
2021: flag-be Eli Iserbyt
2020: geen Wereldbeker in VS
2019: flag-be Eli Iserbyt
2018: flag-be Toon Aerts
2017: flag-nl Mathieu van der Poel


2021: flag-nl Marianne Vos
2020: geen Wereldbeker in VS
2019: flag-cz Katerina Nash
2018: flag-nl Marianne Vos
2017: flag-be Sanne Cant

Course & Route World Cup Waterloo 2022

The course of the cross in Waterloo is very similar to last year’s. It is thus located on the site of the international headquarters of Trek Bicycles. A varied terrain with a mix of meadows, stretches of forest and short steep hills is what the riders will be presented with.

One of those steep hills is the Trek Factory Hill. On social media, there was a video of Thibau Nys just barely making it to the top of the hill. In the cross itself, the riders are rather unlikely to ride up here. A short additional loop has been added to the course, so the speed will be low at the foot of Trek Factory Hill.

The constant climbing makes the World Cup in Waterloo a tough, but also fast cross. Especially with the current conditions, as the terrain is currently bone-dry. Last year, however, it suddenly started raining during the men’s race. On the short stretches of asphalt it became particularly slippery. Should this be the case again on Sunday, the riders will have to be on their guard.

What is still important to mention is the very short final straight. There is a tight bend – a U-turn – just before the final straight, after which the finish line soon appears. Should it come down to a sprint, being the first to turn up will be crucial.

Preview Route Cyclocross World Cup Waterloo 2022

Contenders & Favorites World Cup Waterloo 2022 Men

The field of participants in the men’s event is almost identical to that of the past few weeks. So don’t look for Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Tim Pidcock, Toon Aerts and Quinten Hermans this weekend either. Quasi all the other top riders did travel to America. The first three crosses in Belgium this year were dominated by Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout. The Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal duo played the team game perfectly, allowing Vanthourenhout to win twice. In turn, Iserbyt won impressively in Beringen.

Eli Iserbyt Michael Vanthourenhout Contenders Waterloo 2022

At the moment, the course in Waterloo is still relatively dry. We therefore rate Iserbyt’s chances higher than those of his West Flanders teammate. Moreover, Iserbyt will be only too happy to immediately become leader in the World Cup standings, just like last year. One of the big challengers for the men from Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal is Laurens Sweeck. The brand new cyclist from Crelan-Fristads showed in the opening races that his form is good and that he can take the heat from Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout.

Where Sweeck has to do it on his own, they have several tenors at Baloise Trek Lions. We mainly have Lars van der Haar up front, but Pim Ronhaar and Thibau Nys can also compete for first places. Do not underestimate Niels Vandeputte, who finished fifth in Waterloo last year, and Ryan Kamp.

We also have to keep an eye out for Vincent Baestaens. The Belgian crosser has been in America for several weeks, where he is completing a lot of crosses with his partner Annemarie Worst. Baestaens, who has already won five times in America, will therefore be well acclimated. Other contenders are Tom Meeusen, Daan Soete and Toon Vandebosch. The Americans will mainly support Eric Brunner and Curtis White. The latter was the only one to beat Baestaens in recent weeks.

Contenders World Cup Waterloo Men according to

*** Eli Iserbyt
** Michael Vanthourenhout, Laurens Sweeck
* Lars van der Haar, Pim Ronhaar, Niels Vandeputte

Contenders & Favorites World Cup Waterloo 2022 Women

In the women, we basically get a similar scenario. Fem van Empel and Lucinda Brand were clearly the strongest in the past crosses. Van Empel impressed this season and was already the best twice, in Meulebeke the 20-year-old let herself be tricked by European champion Brand. The Dutchwoman from Baloise Trek Lions, who will be racing in the backyard of sponsor Trek and will therefore be extra motivated, rode a strong final lap and won her first cyclocross race of the season.

Fem van Empel Waterloo Preview World Cup Waterloo 2022

Van Empel gets a slight edge, however, as the course is not selective in the current conditions and a sprint à deux, as in Beringen, is certainly not unlikely.Last year we got an exciting battle in the women’s event in Waterloo. Marianne Vos, who is not there yet, only settled with Brand in the sprint. Denise Betsema got unlucky, but still finished third at a handful of seconds after a clever catch-up race. The Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal rider has had a good start this season and has already finished third on the podium three times.

Annemarie Worst did manage to cheer four times. Worst has competed in a number of races in America and has been the best each time. In Kruibeke, she was the one who managed to stay closest to Van Empel, albeit at more than a minute.

Worst will compete together with Aniek van Alphen and Inge van der Heijden, two of her teammates at Team 777. The latter is creeping ever closer to the absolute top and was already able to win in Dutch Mechelen this season, Van Alphen meanwhile is a regular in the top eight. The season start of Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado is also pretty good, the 24-year-old showed herself mainly in the first halves of the cross.

In terms of non-Dutch contenders, we should not be with the Belgians. They chose not to travel to America. Hélene Clauzel, a French cyclo-cross rider, is riding well and could even win twice in Switzerland (in C2 crosses). Furthermore, we are looking forward to seeing what Clara Honsinger will perform, she is diving into the field for the first time this season.

Contenders World Cup Waterloo Men according to

*** Fem van Empel
** Lucinda Brand, Annemarie Worst
* Denise Betsema, Inge van der Heijden, Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado