Brand fined for Superprestige pit incident that impeded Alvarado

BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 06 Podium Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Lucinda Brand of The Netherlands and Team Telenet Baloise Lions Denise Betsema of The Netherlands and Team Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal Celebration Mask Covid Safety Measures Flowers during the 6th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2020 Women Elite De Schorre Boom Superprestige2021 SPBoom SuperprestigeCX on December 06 2020 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Ceylin Alvarado finished second behind Lucinda Brand in Boom (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lucinda Brand claimed the victory in the fifth round of the Telenet Superprestige in Boom on Sunday but it came at a cost: the Telenet-Baloise rider earned a fine of 120 Swiss Francs for an incident in the pits that impeded world champion Ceylin Alvarado.

Alvarado led the pair into the pits to get a fresh bike on the penultimate lap but Brand came over the top to get to her mechanics, then discarded her muddy bike in front of Alvarado, causing the Alpecin-Fenix rider to lose her stride.

Brand, seeming to realize the mistake and its unfair consequences, waited for Alvarado to rejoin before attacking on a climb and riding away to take victory by 10 seconds, but Alvarado was still annoyed.

"I'm a little pissed off now," Alvarado said after the race to (opens in new tab). "I was strong, but that made me run out of steam a little bit. I was really focused and suddenly something happens that you didn't expect and so I lost my concentration. I had to get back into the rhythm, but I couldn't do that too well.

"It's stupid that it happened, but I can't do much about it. I suddenly stopped and that was annoying."

Brand apologised but the race officials imposed a 120 CHF fine on her. "Apparently I broke a rule. It wasn't intentional, but I understand this decision," Brand said.

"It was an unpleasant combination of circumstances. Everyone knows that I am not the fastest in the pits and I am not that fast getting back on my bike. So if I have to wait for her to remount to do my exchange, I am five metres behind."

"My estimate was that our mechanics weren't standing that close together and there was space. You make that estimation in a split second, I thought we could still pass each other. But I made the wrong choice because we were too close to each other.

"It's a shame, I didn't mean to. I wish it hadn't happened, but the only thing I could do after that pits was wait for Ceylin. I also apologized then, because that's not how you want to eliminate a competitor. I hope people don't think I wanted to. I also understand that Ceylin is just as angry now."

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