Lucinda Brand, representing Baloise Trek Lions, has acknowledged the necessity for further progress despite achieving podium finishes in both Merksplas and Troyes during her second cyclocross season weekend. Brand, who recently moved to Belgium, aims to keep pace with younger riders like Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Puck Pieterse, and world champion Fem van Empel. “This week was a slight improvement. In Merksplas, I tried to ride more cautiously than in Dendermonde, not going all out straight away,” Brand shared. She noted the importance of being ahead of Alvarado in technical sections but admitted to making errors when Alvarado caught up.
Brand’s recent injury, affecting the ligaments around her shoulder and clavicle, prevented her from undertaking specific cyclocross training, which she believes has impacted her technical prowess. “I tried to approach cautiously, yet I still make too many mistakes and often find myself stuck. I need to work more on my technique,” she stated.
However, Brand has observed some improvement in her performance. “This weekend, I didn’t collapse right after the start like in Dendermonde,” she remarked. “I managed to sustain my pace longer, and I expect this to improve week by week,” added the former world champion.
Discussing her training, Brand mentioned the disparity between her high-tempo forest training and the slower, mud-heavy courses encountered in Dendermonde and Merksplas. “I don’t have a specific training plan for the upcoming weekends,” she said. “I feel quite good in training, but clearly lack race rhythm and toughness. It’s only been a week since I returned to competition, so I’m hoping to make larger strides going forward.”