The 2022 Canadian Cyclocross Championships were the first since 2019 due to Covid restrictions, meaning many young, talented riders were making their first appearance in the elite race. Although Walter’s focus is World Cup cross country mountain bike racing, CX is a discipline she enjoys for the pure fun of it. And national championships is a race Walter is always excited to support.
The women’s elite race was the last of the day. Rain had started to fall during the men’s race prior, making conditions extra-sloppy. A front group of five formed quickly off the start, including Walter in fifth. Even as the sun began to set in the middle of the race, Walter rode smooth and mistake-free, passing riders steadily through the sticky mud.
“I just eventually picked off riders by riding consistently, and then suddenly found myself in second place at the finish,” said Walter. “It was a bit unexpected for me, because I let like I was out-gunned by the other riders in terms of power, but I rode to take the best advantage of my technical strengths, stayed patient and limited errors.”
The following day, Walter got another go against the fastest women cyclocross racers in Canada at the Bear Crossing Grand Prix UCI C2 race. The junior and elite category were combined, making for an exciting race with a deep pool of talent.
Once again, Walter raced smart tactically and smooth technically to put herself in contention at the front of the race. With the sun out and conditions still slick from the rain the night before, Walter went all in toward the end of the race, battling for a podium position. She was passed just before the finish line to finish fourth.
“It was frustrating, but I was so proud of how I stayed in the fight and rode aggressively,” said Walter. “My Brava Advanced Pro was the perfect tool for the job. It’s so awesome to have a high-performance race-ready, lightweight, agile, carbon CX bike that fits me.”