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Lucinda Brand wins women's Telenet Superprestige - Zolder

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Dutch Lucinda Brand celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women Elite race of the seventh stage out of eight in the World Cup cyclocross Saturday 26 December 2020 in HeusdenZolder Belgium BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise) wins in Zolder (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Sanne Cant of Belgium and Team Iko Crelan Inge Van Der Heijden of The Netherland and Team 777 Landscape during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Sanne Cant on the steps (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado of The Netherland and Team AlpecinFenix during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Denise Betsema of The Netherland and Team Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Denise Betsema (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Sanne Cant of Belgium and Team Iko Crelan during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Sanne Cant (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Yara Kastelijn of The Netherlands and Team Credishop Fristads during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Yara Kastelijn (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Podium Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado of The Netherland and Team AlpecinFenix Lucinda Brand of The Netherland and Team Telenet Baloise Lions Annemarie Worst of The Netherland and Team 777 Celebration Mask Covid safety measures Flowers during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ceylin Alvarado, Lucinda Brand and Annemarie Worst (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Arrival Lucinda Brand of The Netherland and Team Telenet Baloise Lions Celebration Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado of The Netherland and Team AlpecinFenix during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Women Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lucinda Brand celebrates her victory (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lucinda Brand (Telenet-Baloise) came out on top in a thrilling sprint to win the women's Telenet Superprestige round in Zolder. The Telenet rider was the strongest rider in the race and was almost faultless as she constantly attacked her rivals. However a strong defence from world champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) and several other riders ensured that Brand was never able to establish a healthy margin, even after several major attacks on the fifth and final lap.

In the sprint for the line, however, Brand had too much power, and she won ahead of Alvarado and Annemarie Worst (777). Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). finished in fourth. Brand hit the front as the lead group came off a grass section and headed back onto the tarmac circuit. Alvarado was well-placed on Brand's wheel but was unable to come through.

"It was a really fast one. It was really hard to get away. I tried a couple of times but I was never able to get more than 50 to 100 meters. I knew pretty soon that it would be a sprint but the question then was, how many riders. I'm happy that I could do it my way," Brand said at the finish after taking the win at that also extended her lead in the overall standings.

Brand was on the front almost from the gun and was part of a powerful group that moved clear on the first lap. Alvarado took a tumble on the opening lap after a short dismount but was quickly able to regain contact to make a group of five that also included Brand, Worst, Betsema, and Inge Van Der Heijden. Brand attacked soon after Alvarado regained contact, with a powerful move on the steps toward the end of the second lap, with only Worst able to initially match her. 

A bike change for Brand allowed the five leaders to come back together again but Van Der Heijden was the first to lose contact as Worst began to mount her challenge by upping the pace on lap four. However, the circuit and its punchy climbs were unable to truly split the strongest riders and it was left to the final lap.

Brand once more took control and attacked at the bell with Alvarado desperately sprinting onto her back wheel before the more technical sections began. A second attack from Brand did even more damage as the Dutch rider looked to make the difference before the stairs section. She was unable to drop her companions and Betsema - knowing that she had little chance in the sprint - hit the front before the final climbs. 

On a final steep section Alvarado once more lost her footing and although she managed to just about stay upright the incident allowed Brand to open a small gap with the world champion and the rest of the leaders held up. Alvarado made contact with Brand on the descent but as the riders came off the technical section Betsema and Worst had regained contact before Brand made no mistake with a convincing sprint win.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:40:38
2Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777
4Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
5Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:00:15
6Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 0:00:16
7Anna Kay (GBr) Starcasino CX Team 0:00:17
8Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:00:20
9Anne Tauber (Ned) Cst Postnl Bafang 0:00:30
10Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:31
11Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam 0:00:56
12Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:00
13Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:01:06
14Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:11
15Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:01:42
16Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:02:30
17Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:02:38
18Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta-Skoda Alecar CX Team 0:02:42
19Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:02:51
20Ruby West (Can) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:02:55
21Kiona Crabbé (Bel) Cyclismo Mundial 0:03:10
22Ellen van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:22
23Sophie Wright (GBr) Equipe Paule Ka 0:03:31
24Esther van der Burg (Ned) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:03:35
25Sidney Mcgill (Can) Pedalhead Race Room 0:03:56
26Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra) Team S1neo-Graal-Bjorka 0:04:24
27Jinse Peeters (Bel) Crelan-iko 0:04:37
28Sandra Trevilla (Spa) Jem Sport Cde 0:04:56
29Julie Brouwers (Bel) Vondelmolen-de Ceuster Cycling 0:04:58
30Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel) Bns Technics - Group t.o.M. 0:05:09
31Siobhan Kelly (Can) Black dog Racing 0:05:23
32Shana Maes (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:05:48
33Camille Benoit-guyod (Fra) Team xc vtt Conliège 0:05:58
34Sara Cueto Vega (Spa) Arrueda Cyclocross Team 0:06:11
35Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT 0:06:28
36Maïté Barthels (Lux) Lp07 Schifflange 0:06:52
37Laura Greenhalgh (GBr) Imperial Racing Team 0:07:52
38Camille Devigne (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team 0:08:37
39Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Velo Revolution - Cyclocross C 0:08:47
40Muller Cyriane (Fra) Cc Sarrebourg 0:09:02
DNFMarion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Starcasino CX Team
DNFLindy van Anrooij (Ned) Starcasino CX Team
DNFMaría Parajón Fuentes (Spa) Hermanos Clavero Pc
DNFYenthe van Lommel (Bel) Van Assche - Veloloft Ct

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