One-woman show for Lucinda Brand in Namur
Sunday 19 December 2021
Namur proved once again that the 11th round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup would not be a World Cup without the round on the Citadel of Namur. The citadelcross provided a spectacular race for the women elite, where an overpowering Lucinda Brand put on a one-woman show.
In the first lap, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) were able to break away from the chasing women. Not much later Brand continued her acceleration, putting Betsema at a distance. In lap 2 she was able to take 6 seconds on the chasing woman of Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal.
After a few clear rounds, Brand started to get tired and made some mistakes. In the 4th lap, she even crashed when she doubled the Canadian Walcroft on the course. Yet her lead on Betsema did not diminish. On the contrary. The reigning world champion extended her lead to about 14 seconds thanks to her strong descents.
In the background Betsema pulled out all the stops, but it was to no avail. The Dutch rider finished in second place. Puck Pieterse also rode the entire race alone on her way to bronze. In the last lap it was clear that her legs were getting sore as well, but still she could stay ahead of the chasing Fem van Empel and Ceylin Alvarado and took the third place on the podium.