Brand wins the tough race in Dendermode
Sunday 26 December 2021
World champion Lucinda Brand has won the Dendermonde round of the UCI World Cup. She accelerated in the third lap and left everyone behind. The American Clara Honsinger came second.
There were no boggy paths in Dendermonde this year, but the surface was muddy once again. Marianne Vos got away first, but not much later, her compatriots Fem van Empel and Denise Betsema took over from her at the head of the race. World champion Brand had a poor start and completed the first lap in the tenth position.
Betsema picked up the pace a couple of times during the first two laps, but that didn't make much of a difference. After her poor opening lap, Lucinda Brand managed to catch up with those at the front during the second lap. At the end of that lap, there was actually a group of 10 women in the lead.
Not much later, Brand had had enough. She accelerated in a way that no one could match. Betsema did try to follow her, but she couldn't catch up to the world champion's wheel. At the end of the third lap, Brand had a nine-second lead over Betsema. She further increased her lead on the penultimate lap.
Clara Honsinger came from behind to get closer and closer. The American rode past Vas and Pieterse into third place and joined Betsema soon after. At the end of the penultimate lap, she also left the Dutch woman behind her.
World champion Brand initially seemed to have won the race, but Honsinger got amazingly close to her on the final lap. Brand changed bikes, the American did not. Honsinger approached to within four seconds, but Brand's victory was no longer in danger. The world champion could once again claim victory. Honsinger finished an impressive second, while Betsema completed the podium.