We have some unfortunate news, especially for U.S. fans.

Due to his back injury, Mathieu van der Poel was not able to attend the last couple of races. He was hoping he was able to recover in time to attend the Worlds and defend his title. However, it looks like he will not be able to do so.

Announced on Wednesday, January 5th, Mathieu van der Poel will be pulling out of the 2022 World Championships. Van der Poel was not satisfied with his performance with any of his races since the Tour de France and his infamous Tokyo Olympics crash. The only remedy he sees is to take a longer rest period. After attending 10 consecutive World Cyclocross Championships, he has announced, with a heavy heart, that he will not be defending his title this year.

“Because of my back pain I haven’t been able to reach my desired level since @letourdefrance. I just want that to be in the past. The only remedy turns out to be a longer rest period. So it would be foolish to interrupt this period again and still try to make it to the World Championships.” – Mathieu van der Poel

MVDP fans everywhere wish him a swift and full recovery. Hopefully, we will see the champ next cyclocross season.

However, that’s not the only unfortunate news, it seems like Wout van Aert will not be attending the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville.

With two of the Big Three missing from Fayetteville, the crowd’s favorite looks to be Tom Pidcock. However, he has strong competitors with Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout, Quinten Hermans, Toon Aerts, and Laurens Sweeck.