The 2022 Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville will be without the 2021 Elite Women’s silver and bronze medalists.

Annemarie Worst is without symptoms but will miss the event due to a positive COVID-19 test, while Denise Betsema is ill but not positive with COVID-19 and has opted to skip the trip to Arkansas.

According to Bestema’s team, Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal, the Dutch star fell ill with a fever on Monday with a non-COVID-19 illness and will miss Worlds to recover.

HLN reported that “the rider nevertheless decided in consultation with the team management of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal and the Dutch cycling association KNWU to forfeit the trip to the Netherlands due to the fever.”

A decision out of respect for the other Dutch athletes on that same flight, and because there would be too little recovery time due to traveling and jet lag to be fully fit at the start of her World [Championships] on Saturday. The fact that Denise became ill on Monday also explains Hoogerheide’s disappointing World Cup race. -Tom De Kort, women’s sports director at Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal

Betsema joins fellow Dutch star Worst and Belgians Quinten Hermans and Xaydée Van Sinaeyas on the list of European racers forced to miss the biggest race of the season due to illness or a positive COVID-19 test.

The race will already be missing Mathieu van der Poel due to injury and Wout van Aert as he focuses on the road season.