Thalita de Jong hopes to keep her dual-discipline focus on road and cyclocross going or the next few seasons at least.

Thalita de Jong hopes to keep her dual-discipline focus on road and cyclocross going.

You never know you who’ll run into on a plane.

Cyclocross Magazine’s Christine Vardaros caught up with 2016 UCI Cyclocross World Champion Thalita de Jong on a bumpy flight on her way back to Belgium from Spain, and took the opportunity to catch up with the young Dutch star from the Lares-Waowdeals team.

De Jong had an awful crash at the 2017 Hoogerheide World Cup, and after several hospital visits learned she tore her quadriceps muscle and ended her chance to defend the jersey she surprised many by winning at the 2016 World Championships in Zolder.

She’s on the mend now, riding her bike, attending training camps and still visiting the doctor to make sure her recovery is on track.

De Jong talked about the crash, being able to watch only some of the 2017 Worlds in Bieles, plans for the upcoming road and cyclocross seasons, and whether she’ll be choosing between the two disciplines any time soon.

De Jong held the World Champion title, Dutch National Champion title and the UEC European Continental Champion title simultaneously this season, and despite losing the first two in 2017, will enter next cyclocross season as the reigning Continental champion. However, her possibly participation in the road World Championships could jeopardize her ability to defend that title as well.

Have a watch in the video interview below. (Forgive the usual airplane noise, turbulence and some stabilization artifacts.)

Thalita de Jong Video Interview – February 19, 2017: