Cyclo-cross season 2022-23: favourites, times and how to watch
Few sports are as intense and exciting as cyclo-cross. An hour of maximum effort in which the cyclists fight against each other, offering constant alternatives in a continuous stop-start forced by the current twisty circuits. A discipline that we invite you to discover if you are not yet a follower of the sport of mud and that will surely get you hooked.
Cyclo-cross calendar 2022-23
The new cyclo-cross season is underway, a discipline which, due to the length of its races, intense but short, makes it possible for the competitions to follow one after the other, with cyclists taking part in races on double Saturdays and Sundays, with the occasional midweek competition being added.
This means that in Belgium, the birthplace of the sport, with the exception of the Netherlands, cyclo-cross enjoys TV coverage that rivals football.
2022-2023 CX World Cup
In the world of cyclo-cross there are several competitions, the most relevant being the World Cup organised under the auspices of the UCI, which consists of 14 races that started on October 9 in the United States, specifically in the small town of Waterloo, next to the Trek factory, and will conclude on January 29, 2023 in the French town of Besançon.
As a novelty, this season the World Cup returns to Spain after not having a competition of this category since, after the 2011 edition, the traditional Igorre race was no longer included in this circuit. This time, the venue that will host the World Cup will be Benidorm, the territory of the leading Spanish exponent in this discipline, Felipe Orts, from Villajoyosa, a town next to Benidorm.
- 09/10/2022 – Waterloo (USA)
- 16/10/2022 – Fayetteville (USA)
- 23/10/2022 – Tábor (Czech Republic)
- 30/10/2022 – Rucphen (The Netherlands)
- 13/11/2022 – Beekse Bergen (The Netherlands)
- 20/11/2022 – Overijse (Belgium)
- 27/11/2022 – Hulst (The Netherlands)
- 04/12/2022 – Amberes (Belgium)
- 11/12/2022 – Dublín (Ireland)
- 17/12/2022 – Val di Sole (Italy)
- 26/12/2022 – Dendermonde (Belgium)
- 08/01/2023 – Zonhoven (Belgium)
- 22/01/2023 – Benidorm (Spain)
- 29/01/2023 – Besançon (France)
2023 CX World and European Championships
One week after the end of the World Cup, the World Championships in the mud speciality will be held in the Dutch town of Hoogerheide, where the various rainbow jerseys will be decided. Before that, on the weekend of November 5 and 6, the European Championships will be held in the beautiful Belgian city of Namur, one of the toughest and most spectacular circuits on which cyclo-cross races are traditionally held.
- 05/11/2022 – European Cyclo-cross Championships (Women) - Namur (Belgium)
- 06/11/2022 – European Cyclo-cross Championships (Men) - Namur (Belgium)
- 03/02/2023 – Cyclo-cross World Championships (Team Relay) - Hoogerheide (Netherlands)
- 04/02/2023 – Cyclo-cross World Championships (Junior Women, Under23 Men, Elite Women) – Hoogerheide (Netherlands)
- 05/02/2023 – Cyclo-cross World Championships (U23 Men, U23 Women, Elite Men) – Hoogerheide (Netherlands)
In addition to the UCI competitions, the other major championship of the sport is the Superprestige, a cup of 8 events, all of them in Belgium, which in the world of cyclo-cross is as important as the World Cup despite being held in such a specific geographical area.
- 29/10/2022 – Ruddervoorde (Belgium)
- 11/11/2022 – Niel – Jaarmarktcross (Belgium)
- 19/11/2022 – Merksplas (Belgium)
- 03/12/2022 – Boom (Belgium)
- 27/12/2022 – Heusden-Zolder (Belgium)
- 28/12/2022 – Diegem (Belgium)
- 07/01/2023 – Gullegem (Belgium)
- 11/02/2023 – Middelkerke-Noordzeecross (Belgium)
Races you should not miss
Also in a multi-race circuit format and also on Belgian soil, the X20 Trophy will be held, with 8 events starting on November 1st with the mythical Koppenbergcross on the hill where the famous Tour of Flanders wall climbs, which, of course, is also part of the route. The competition will end on February 19 with the race in Brussels.
This season's X20 Trophy includes races with such tradition and prestige as the GP Sven Nys on January 1st in Baal, the Herentals Trophy on January 3rd or the always spectacular Koksijde race with its dunes by the sea pushing the riders to the limit.
The third championship in the running is the Exact Cross, also centred on Belgian territory and also with 8 races that started on September 18th and will be completed on February 18th, with several of its dates located on midweek.
Where to watch the cyclo-cross races 2022-2023
Until a few seasons ago, following the cyclo-cross campaign forced the fan to make a living through dubiously legal streamings or, in the case of the World Cup, to follow the broadcasts through the UCI YouTube channel.
However, for several years now Eurosport has been making space for mud sports on its online platform Eurosport Player and its associated platform GCN+. This year, the specialised sports channel has gone a step further in its coverage by making room on its Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 channels for the World Cup and Superprestige events. At the same time, the Exact Cross and X20 events will also have a place on the online platform, which also dedicates space in its programming to the broadcasting of the US circuit.
Favourites to win the World Cup and the CX World Championship 2022-23
If there is one thing about cyclo-cross races, it is how unpredictable they are given their short duration and high intensity, which means that there are constant alternatives in the race and that any incident, whether mechanical or in the form of a crash, can reduce the chances of winning, although, on occasions, it has been useful to see epic comebacks. However, the leading riders always appear in the places of honour.
The reigning World Cup champion has started the 2022-23 campaign with a devastating pace, taking advantage of the first events on the calendar to make up ground. It remains to be seen whether his level will be sufficient to take on the top riders when they decide to start their participation in the cyclo-cross campaign.
- Age: 25
- Height: 1,65 m
- Weight: 55 kg
- Team: Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
- Best CX results: 1st overall World Cup (2022), 1st overall Superprestige (2022)
Wout Van Aert
A dominating mudder alongside Mathieu Van der Poel, his road cycling obligations have caused him to delay and select his cyclo-cross appearances so that they interfere as little as possible with the planning of the road campaign. Although he skipped the World Championships last year to avoid the long trip to the USA, after dominating every race he entered with an iron fist. This year, if he decides to take part, he will undoubtedly be one of the favourites to win the rainbow. Not so in the World Cup after not taking part in the first races.
- Age: 28
- Height: 1,90 m
- Weight: 78 kg
- Team: Jumbo-Visma
- Best CX results: 1st overall World Cup (2016, 2017, 2021), CX World Championship (2016, 2017, 2018), 1st overall Superprestige (2016)
The current cyclo-cross world champion will try to revalidate his title this season 2022-23 although, after the recently finished season, which has clearly been long due to combining cyclo-cross, mountain bike and road, it is presumable that the British rider will select more of his objectives throughout this winter to avoid cyclo-cross conditioning his next campaign.
- Age: 23
- Height: 1,70 m
- Weight: 58 kg
- Team: INEOS Grenadiers
- Best CX results: CX World Championship(2022)
Mathieu Van der Poel
Hopefully this season we can relive the duels with Wout Van Aert that these two mud monsters have delighted us for so many years and that in the world of road racing we have been able to enjoy only in very few moments. Van der Poel's performance is an unknown after a very irregular road season and an eventful end of the year. In addition, it remains to be seen whether the Dutchman will have completely left behind the back problems that reduced his performance in the previous cyclo-cross campaign, in which he only participated in two races.
- Age: 27
- Height: 1,84 m
- Weight: 75 kg
- Team: Alpecin-Deceuninck
- Best CX results: 1st overall World Cup (2018), CX World Championship (2015, 2019, 2020, 2021), 1st overall Superprestige (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019).