On a crisp November morning, the cyclocross community welcomed back Lucinda Brand with open arms. Brand, who represents Baloise Trek Lions, had been absent from the season’s onset due to a shoulder and collarbone ligament injury, but managed to secure an impressive second place in her return at the World Cup in Dendermonde on Sunday.
Brand evaluated her performance, acknowledging the positive aspects of her race while also admitting the need for caution. She initially aimed to keep pace with Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, the race’s ultimate victor, but soon realised the effort was unsustainable. Despite a valiant attempt to challenge Alvarado, Brand recognised the latter’s exceptional strength and decided to find her own rhythm to avoid exhaustion. She expressed satisfaction with her start but noted that there was considerable work ahead to close the gap in her performance.
Recovery and Preparation
The rehabilitation process was slower than Brand had hoped for, yet she affirmed her capacity to compete and complete all necessary manoeuvres during the race. She was relieved that the injury did not preoccupy her mind while racing. Brand is currently pleased with her progress but remains clear-eyed about the improvements needed for future competitions.
Looking forward, Brand mentioned that she plans to participate in double race weekends, contingent upon her recovery and how she feels post-race. She expressed an eagerness to return to the sport after an extended period of convalescence. These upcoming races would serve as an opportunity to rebuild her racing rhythm and condition.
Brand also touched upon her recent move to Flanders, the heartland of cyclocross. She outlined the logistical challenges of frequent travel from the Netherlands and the difficulties of training in her native woodlands. By moving to Belgium, she has managed to reduce travel time and has better access to training environments that could provide a critical edge. Brand is motivated to keep pace with the rising young talents who have made their mark in the previous season.
Brand’s commitment to her sport is unwavering, as she seeks to maintain her technical prowess and enhance her natural abilities through consistent woodland training. She hopes that these efforts, coupled with increased race experience, will enable her to continue contending with the new generation of cyclocross racers. Brand is determined to bridge the gap and fight for her place at the top of the sport.