EF Education-TIBCO-SVB announced it will provide year-round support for two-time US national cyclo-cross champion Clara Honsinger as the Women’s WorldTour team begins a cyclo-cross program for the 2022-2023 season.
Honsinger transitioned to the road full time in 2021 with the US-based team while continuing to make an impression in ‘cross. Her cyclo-cross team, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld, abruptly folded in March after 16 seasons. Last year, Honsinger accounted for seven of the team’s 35 podiums, including a defense of the US cyclo-cross elite women’s title and two other victories.
“She races Cannondale for cyclocross and for road, so it was a natural fit,” said Linda Jackson, team founder and owner of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB.
“We will be much better able to plan Clara’s integration with the team after the cyclocross season and more accurately fine tune her road preparation. Clara has already shown how her cyclocross skills translate to road success. Look for more to come on that front.”
Cyclo-cross was Honsinger’s introduction to bike racing, and as a 20-year-old she competed almost exclusively in elite races across the US, including a World Cup race at Hoogerheide. That was the 2017-2018 season and she won the silver medal in women’s U23 category at the US championships in Reno, Nevada. The next year in Louisville she took the U23 title.
“I’ve always wanted to do my best for the road program but then I also want to show up for my cyclocross season and there’s a bit of tension between that,” Honsinger said in a team statement. “I think that’s one of the greatest things about being under the same program. Having it all be on one team, that’s a relief that I get to work for my team on both ends. We’re working towards one goal and that’s to get good results for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB.”
Last season, when road cycling made a comeback in North America after a year of COVID-19 closures, Honsinger was fourth overall in the fall edition of the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas. She repeated that result this spring, scored a top 10 in the road race at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships and was part of the winning team effort in the team time trial at this week’s CIC Tour des Pyrénées.
Riding exclusively for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB is a plus for the Oregon native’s year-round calendar and training. Honsinger noted that the logistics manager for the road team, Christel Herremans, will play a key role in her dual disciplinary efforts.
“Christel has a ton of experience working with cyclocross. It’s awesome to have both the foundation of the team and the experience of Christel put together in a cool program,” Honsinger said. “I think it will lead to better results. I’ll be stronger and fitter for both road and cyclocross.”
In January, Honsinger won Koppenbergcross, and made history as the first US rider to do so. Just a few months later, she used that experience on the Belgian cobbles when she was in the breakaway for more than 100km at the Tour of Flanders. Her road contract goes through 2023.
Honsinger will line up off-road for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB in September at Go Cross in Virginia, which will serve as preparation for UCI World Cups Waterloo and Fayetteville the following month.