Will it snow? Will someone ride the stairs? Who will take advantage of a favorite’s absence?

There are plenty of unanswered questions as the UCI Cyclocross World Cup heads into its fifth country of the season with the eighth stop in Besançon, France.

The new World Cup venue is a largely grass course that looks similar to a typical American cyclocross venue, with man-made stairs, a flyover and a woods section. A set of rollers and two big pavement stretches add a bit of diversity to the grass.

A few off-cambers should make things interesting if the weather forecast for snow holds.

Here’s a course preview of the course, previously used for the French National Championships.

2021 Cyclocross UCI World Cup Besancon Course Preview:


2021 Cyclocross UCI World Cup Besancon Elite Men Start List:

Many of the top cyclocrossers will be attending, sans the three superstars who will clash later this winter.

The Big Three Will Clash Again This Cyclocross Season

Almost all of the World Cup overall contenders will make the trip to France, many driving five and a half hours from Saturday’s X2O Badkamers Trofee race in Kortrijk, Belgium.

One additional contender missing from the start is Lars van der Haar, who is sitting third in the overall standings.

Here are the current standings in the World Cup:

2021 UCI Cyclocross World Cup Elite Men’s standings after Koksijde


No North Americans will make the trip to France.

See the preliminary start list below in pdf form.

The Elite Women’s start list for the 2021 Besancon UCI Cyclocross World Cup is here.

2021 Besancon World Cup Start List