Images from World Championships

U.S. Cyclocross National Champion Ellen Noble and Scott Smith both accomplished some firsts during their trip to the Cyclocross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on January 30 and 31. Noble raced in the inaugural women's U23 World Championships-- an event created this year separate from the elite women's race. That allowed 40 more women to compete at World Championships than in previous years, according to UCI officials.

Scott Smith competed in his first-ever World Championships after having a strong cross season and finishing 4th at Nationals in Asheville, North Carolina, three weeks ago. That helped him qualify for Zolder. Both JAM/NCC/Vittoria elite team riders raced for Team USA at Worlds with 28 other cyclists from the United States. Noble's 6th place finish in the women's U23 was the top placed finish of all the Americans.

 Ellen Noble blasted off the start line in the first-ever U23 women's Cyclocross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Jan. 30. Photo by Mike Albright. 

Ellen Noble blasted off the start line in the first-ever U23 women's Cyclocross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Jan. 30. Photo by Mike Albright. 

 Noble rode in second place during the first part of the women's U23 race before slipping back. She recovered and finished 6th, becoming the best-placed American finisher at World Championships. Photo by Phillippe Thys.

Noble rode in second place during the first part of the women's U23 race before slipping back. She recovered and finished 6th, becoming the best-placed American finisher at World Championships. Photo by Phillippe Thys.

 This image from the live broadcast reveals the torrential downpour in the early part of the women's U23 race.

This image from the live broadcast reveals the torrential downpour in the early part of the women's U23 race.

 Noble's control on the technical descents helped her regain seconds on other riders. This particular part of the course had some of the most slippery mud and deep ruts. Photo by Marc Deceuninck.

Noble's control on the technical descents helped her regain seconds on other riders. This particular part of the course had some of the most slippery mud and deep ruts. Photo by Marc Deceuninck.

 Noble crosses the finish line in 43:16 for 6th place, 1:38 behind winner Evie Richards of Great Britain.

Noble crosses the finish line in 43:16 for 6th place, 1:38 behind winner Evie Richards of Great Britain.

 Exhausted but pleased at the end of the race. "I'm extremely happy for this hard-fought result on such a demanding and soaking wet course," Noble said. Photo by Meg McMahon.

Exhausted but pleased at the end of the race. "I'm extremely happy for this hard-fought result on such a demanding and soaking wet course," Noble said. Photo by Meg McMahon.

 Scott Smith (looking off to the right), got a fourth row start in the men's U23 race on Jan. 31. UCI image. 

Scott Smith (looking off to the right), got a fourth row start in the men's U23 race on Jan. 31. UCI image. 

 Fifty-two riders staged for the U23 men's competition. UCI image.

Fifty-two riders staged for the U23 men's competition. UCI image.

 Smith said the race was hard but clearly was having a good time at World Championships. Photo by Pieter Van Hoorebeke.

Smith said the race was hard but clearly was having a good time at World Championships. Photo by Pieter Van Hoorebeke.

 "This really is the major leagues," Smith said about his first time in the World Championships. Photo by Marshall Kappell.

"This really is the major leagues," Smith said about his first time in the World Championships. Photo by Marshall Kappell.

Thanks to the photographers above who endure the cold and mud, who stand on their feet for countless hours, get pushed and shoved through crowds to get the perfect shot and help record the history of our favorite sport. We so appreciate your work and devotion.