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Brand wins in Merksplas after duel with Alvarado

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Netherlands Lucinda Brand celebrates after winning the womens elite race of the fourth out of 8 stage of the Superprestige cyclocross cycling competition in Merksplas on November 22 2020 Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN BELGA AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGAAFP via Getty Images

Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise) wins in Merksplas (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Puck Pieterse of The Netherland and Team AlpecinFenix Perrine Clauzel of France AS Bike Crossteam Mud during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix) bunny hops the barriers in Merksplas (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Maghalie Rochette of Canada and Team SpecializedFeedback Sports during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Maghalie Rochette in her first race of the season (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Sanne Cant of Belgium and Team Iko Crelan Manon Bakker of The Netherlands and Team CredishopFristads during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado of The Netherland and Team AlpecinFenix Lucinda Brand of The Netherland and Team Telenet Baloise Lions during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lucinda Brand leads Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado over the barriers (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Ruby West of Canada and Proximus AlphaMotorhomes Doltcini CT during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ruby West runs over the barriers (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Laura Verdonschot of Belgium and Team Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal Mud during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Katherine Compton of The United States and Team Kfc Racing PB TrekKnight Composites during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Katie Compton in her first race in Europe of the season (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Sanne Cant of Belgium and Team Iko Crelan Mud during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Sanne Cant (Iko Crelan) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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RIJKEVORSEL BELGIUM NOVEMBER 22 Katherine Compton of The United States and Team Kfc Racing PB TrekKnight Composites during the 9th Superprestige Merksplas 2020 Women Elite SuperprestigeCX SPMerksplas CX on November 22 2020 in Rijkevorsel Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Katie Compton (Trek) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) emerged victorious at the fourth round of the Telenet Superprestige series in Merksplas after a near race-long battle with World Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix).

The two swapped spells on the front as their different skills emerged in the sand or on the short climbs and nerve-testing descents. Fatigue eventually made a difference, pushing the riders to their limits.

Alvarado opened a late gap after Brand struggled in the sand and seemed on the way to victory. However, she then crashed while leading during the last lap and Brand was able to ride past her to the win alone.

Alvarado then crashed again before the finish and needed to straighten her handlebars, with Denise Betsema (Bingoal) passing her to take second place at six seconds. Alvarado came home third at 16 seconds. Betsema had started on the third row of the grid and slipped down the field before mounting a high-speed comeback.   

Canada’s Maghalie Rochette finished 11th at 1:20. Katherine Compton was 27th on her European season debut, at 4:21.

“It was a hectic and slippery course and so it was not so not strange to make mistakes. We both made little mistakes during the race and especially when we got tired. Then strongest won,” Brand said proudly.

Alvarado blamed the accumulation of fatigue.

“I think I eventually took too many risk and tiredness also played a role. It was wet and slippy. I crashed twice and that cost me the race,” she said.

“I think it was more tiredness than anything else. We were racing full gas for almost every lap.”

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:43:10
2Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:06
3Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:16
4Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:00:20
5Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:00:36
6Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:00:42
7Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads
8Anna Kay (GBr) Starcasino CX Team 0:00:56
9Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:05
10Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam 0:01:20
11Maghalie Rochette (Can)
12Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:33
13Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:44
14Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Starcasino CX Team 0:01:57
15Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:58
16Eva Lechner (Ita) Starcasino CX Team 0:02:22
17Ellen van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:32
18Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:51
19Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta-Skoda Alecar CX Team 0:03:00
20Loes Sels (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:03:20
21Ruby West (Can) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:03:33
22Josie Nelson (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:03:39
23Clara Honsinger (USA) 0:03:42
24Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:03:54
25Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) 777 0:04:04
26Susanne Meistrok (Ned) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:04:16
27Katherine Compton (USA) 0:04:21
28Marthe Truyen (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:04:34
29Hélène Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam 0:04:36
30Kaitlin Keough (USA) 0:04:39
31Lindy van Anrooij (Ned) Starcasino CX Team 0:04:42
32Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:05:20
33Kiona Crabbé (Bel) 0:05:40
34Marine Strappazzon (Fra) Team Podiocom CC 0:05:44
35Esther van der Burg (Ned) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:05:50
36Julie de Wilde (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:05:52
37Amy Perryman (GBr) 0:05:58
38Sophie De Boer (Ned) 0:06:00
39Sophie Wright (GBr) 0:06:59
40Elodie Kuijper (Ned) 0:07:19
41Rebecca Fahringer (USA) 0:07:28
42Shana Maes (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:07:30
43Julie Brouwers (Bel) 0:07:31
44Camille Devigne (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team 0:07:37
45Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:07:39
46Abbie Manley (GBr)
47Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)
48Veerle Goossens (Ned)
49Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)
50Maïté Barthels (Lux)
51Michelle Geoghegan (Irl)
52Siobhan Kelly (Can)
53Valerie Boonen (Bel)
54Lina Beirinckx (Bel)
DNFMaud Kaptheijns (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal

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