2021 UCI Road World Championships

Kristen Faulkner Is A Top Underdog For Women's World Championship Road Race

Kristen Faulkner Is A Top Underdog For Women's World Championship Road Race

The UCI Road World Championship road races in Flanders, Belgium take place on September 25 and 26th.

Sep 18, 2021 by Jessica Alexander
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The UCI Road World Championships road races in Flanders, Belgium take place Sept. 25-26. The Flanders region is a hotbed for professional cycling, known for its steep and often cobbled climbs. Both the elite men's and women's road races begin in Antwerp and feature multiple complex circuits which will give racers and fans a taste of quintessential Belgian bike racing before finishing on Leuven's Geldenaaksevest.

The elite women will race on Sept. 25 for 157.7km with an official start on the Grote Markt in Antwerp. The peloton will pass through the village of Keerbergen before arriving in Leuven. After arriving in Leuven, the elite women will complete 1.5 laps of the local circuit, one Flandrien circuit and then 2.5 final local circuit loops. The finish features the same slight climb up the tough Geldenaaksevest.

Here are five underdogs to watch for the elite women's road race:

Kristen Faulkner

American Kristen Faulkner rides for UCI Women's Continental Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank. She is primarily known as a time trialist, but will be representing the United States for the UCI Road World Championships on Sept. 25. In 2021, she was third overall in the women’s Tour of Norway and 10th in the Tour of Flanders.

Mavi Garcia

Mavi Garcia has had an exciting 2021. She almost won the women’s Strade Bianche, nearly beating world champion Annemiek van Vleuten in a solo break until she was caught with only 6km to go. The Spanish rider was 21st overall in the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, thus proving she is a consistent rider in both stage races and one-day classics. 

Anna Henderson

British rider Anna Henderson has had very consistent results in 2021, with many Top 10s and an overall win at the Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames. More than likely the young Henderson will be a domestique on her British team of Lizzie Deignan, Anna Shackley, Alice Barnes, Pfeiffer Georgi and Joss Lowden.

Ashleigh Moolman

Ashleigh Moolan, who will be representing South Africa, was second overall in the 2021 Ladies Tour of Norway. Moolman was a participant in the 2012 London Olympics, having placed 16th in the road race. With a retirement in professional cycling looming in 2022, Moolman hopes her final race seasons are opportunities to inspire future African and South African riders. 

Kasia Niewiadoma

Polish rider Kasia Niewiadoma has had a great run of solid Top-10 results in 2021. The young rider, whose partner is Taylor Phinney, was fourth recently at the European Road Championships on Sept. 11 and 14th overall at the Tokyo Olympics. The future seems very bright for the 26-year-old who has been racing since 2012.