Cyclo-Cross World Cup: Lucinda Brand cruises to dominant solo victory in Flamanville

Brand wins after escaping on second lap ahead of Marie Schreiber and Leonie Bentveld

Clock13:34, Sunday 3rd December 2023
Lucinda Brand claimed her second consecutive World Cup victory

© Sprint Cycling Agency

Lucinda Brand claimed her second consecutive World Cup victory

Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) took advantage of a weakened field to cruise to a dominant victory in the latest round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup in Flamanville, comfortably beating Marie Schreiber (SD Worx) in second and Leonie Bentveld (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) in third.

With Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma), Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) all absent from the start line, the Dutchwoman started as the big favourite and she took full advantage to establish an early second-lap lead which she never relinquished on route to consecutive World Cup victories, having also triumphed in Dublin last weekend.

The rest of the field were left to scrap for the remaining podium places and it was Schreiber who proved to be the best of the rest as she claimed a first ever World Cup podium finish, edging out Bentveld who had to settle for third.

Lucinda Brand dominates against depleted field

For the second round in a row, there was a depleted start list for the women’s World Cup in Flamanville. Both Van Empel and Pieterse opted to skip last week’s event in Dublin and they were absent once again in France, as was overall World Cup leader Alvarado who was forced to miss the weekend’s action due to illness.

In contrast, Brand followed a different strategy, skipping yesterday’s Superprestige Race in Boom to start in Flamanville as the big favourite. If that tag came with extra pressure, Brand didn’t let it affect her performance, although she found herself slightly out of position after unclipping from a pedal on the opening straight.

The Dutchowman then faced some early-race pressure from Schreiber who set a ferocious pace over the opening lap to establish a small gap, but Brand seized on a mistake by the Luxembourgish rider to seize the lead on the second lap.

It became a lonely race from then on for Brand as she maintained a consistent pace devoid of mistakes to eke out her lead each lap, only allowing her buffer to drop over the final two laps as she nursed her lead to the line.

With Brand secure in her lead, the main race was happening behind between Schreiber and Bentveld who were both on the hunt for their first ever elite World Cup podium finishes. They were joined by the more experienced Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) who is no stranger to a World Cup podium, but she soon found herself out of contention against the pressure of her younger competitors.

That meant that the two youngsters were, barring any late mishaps, guaranteed a podium spot but there was still a second-place finish up for grabs. Having recovered from her early race effort, it was Schreiber who proved to have the most left in the tank as she escaped on the penultimate lap. It was still touch-and-go to the line but the 20-year-old held on for a career-best World Cup result, ahead of Bentveld who achieved the same accomplishment.

Further back in the field, Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) recorded one of the rides of the day, recovering from the back of the field to finish fifth.

Race Results

1

nl flag

BRAND Lucinda

50' 05"

2

lu flag

SCHREIBER Marie

+ 20"

3

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BENTVELD Leonie

+ 30"

4

nl flag

BETSEMA Denise

+ 45"

5

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VAN ANROOIJ Shirin

+ 55"

6

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WORST Annemarie

+ 58"

7

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BAKKER Manon

+ 59"

8

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VAN DER HEIJDEN Inge

+ 1' 17"

9

fr flag

CLAUZEL Hélène

+ 1' 21"

10

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FOUQUENET Amandine

+ 1' 29"

Provided by FirstCycling

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