Lucinda Brand wins UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup - Namur

Just like last year, Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions), conquered the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round at the rain-soaked Namur citadel. A mud-clad Brand won solo in Belgium ahead of compatriots Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) and Annemarie Worst (777). 

Katerina Nash (CLIF) finished fifth in Namur and remains World Cup leader ahead of Alvarado after six of nine World Cup rounds.

"I'm super happy to prolong my victory. I tried to ride the lines I trained on yesterday with Sven Nys, avoiding getting into the deep tracks. During the final lap I started to struggle but luckily I had enough of a gap. It was a matter of keeping my cool at that point and using my anger at the sections where it was possible," Brand told Telenet Sports Play TV.

Brand didn't have the best start on Sunday afternoon during the mini-lap that preceded the five full laps in Namur. She had to close down the gap to the first lead group with Worst, Alvarado, Yara Kastelijn (777)  and young Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX). 

A much-discussed newly introduced descent that preceded a cobbled climbing section, caused havoc. Rain turned the twisting path into a mudslide, as Kastelijn, Brand, Alvarado, Nash and Pan-American champion Maghalie Rochette quickly found out. 

Worst surged forward during the first full lap and created a small gap over Alvarado and Brand while the rest of the field quickly disappeared from the monitor. 

World champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) won yesterday's race in Sint-Niklaas but in Namur she quickly faded out of the top-10; she eventually finished fifteenth. Kaitlin Keough ( wanted to defend her third place in the World Cup standings on a course that suits her well. That didn't happen as she had a poor start and ended up abandoning the race after the first of five laps, while riding in 41nd place. 

Keough dramatically tumbles from third to tenth place in the World Cup standings. Possibly she was struggling with the cold water, just like multiple other riders, as a shivering Alvarado said after the race. "Before the start of the race I was already feeling cold and during the race it wasn't easy either. My hands were freezing cold which made it hard to guide the bike."

A crash from Worst turned her race around. Brand and Alvarado bridge up to her and quickly left her behind as the crash seemed to have broken her rhythm. Further back, Evie Richards turned a distant start position around and she worked her way to the group that fought for fourth place with fresh US-champion Clara Honsinger, Katie Compton, Katerina Nash and Anna Kay.

Halfway into the race, Brand exploited a difficult moment for Alvarado. The latter slipped away at the foot of the cobble section when coming off the muddy descent. She didn't find the space to hop back on her bike and Brand surged away on the pavé. Brand collected a bonus of ten seconds which grew up to 25 seconds during the penultimate lap. 

Honsinger passed Nash and Richards and seemed on her way to fourth place while Kay completely disappeared from the top-10; Kay finished 30th. Brand then crashed in the final passage of the tricky descent. She then failed to kick off at the start of the pavé but also Alvarado struggled making it impossible to take advantage of these mishaps. 

Brand won, well ahead of Alvarado and Worst. Richards won the battle for fourth place ahead of Nash and Honsinger. Compton won a hard-fought sprint for seventh place from compatriot Rebecca Fahringer. Former world champion Marianne Vos slowly fought back from her back-row start position to clinch a ninth place at three minutes from winner Brand, just ahead of Rochette.

Next week, the seventh of nine World Cup rounds will be contested in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Boxing Day.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:45:05
2Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Corendon - Circus 0:00:16
3Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:01:21
4Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing Cx 0:01:34
5Katerina Nash (Cze) 0:01:45
6Clara Honsinger (USA) 0:01:48
7Katherine Compton (USA) 0:02:46
8Rebecca Fahringer (USA) 0:02:49
9Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC - Liv 0:03:00
10Maghalie Rochette (Can) 0:03:07
11Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Experza pro Cx 0:03:13
12Manon Bakker (Ned) Experza pro Cx 0:03:15
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin – Fristads 0:03:27
14Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned) CCC - Liv 0:03:29
15Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko – Crelan 0:03:30
16Yara Kastelijn (Ned) 777 0:03:46
17Caroline Mani (Fra) 0:03:53
18Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned) 0:03:57
19Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:04:07
20Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) 777 0:04:36
21Francesca Baroni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite 0:04:51
22Puck Pieterse (Ned) 0:04:53
23Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:05:05
24Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.s Bike Crossteam
25Harriet Harnden (GBr) 0:05:25
26Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar cx Team 0:05:27
27Alicia Franck (Bel) Experza pro Cx 0:05:47
28Marlène Petit (Fra) Team Podiocom Cc 0:05:50
29Nadja Heigl (Aut) Ktm Alchemist Racing Team 0:05:55
30Anna Kay (GBr) Experza pro Cx 0:05:57
31Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 0:06:00
32Olivia Onesti (Fra) 0:06:17
33Geerte Hoeke (Ned) 0:06:25
34Ruby West (Can) 0:06:30
35Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 0:06:40
36Sara Casasola (Ita) Servetto - Piumate - Beltrami Tsa 0:06:44
37Samantha Runnels (USA) 0:06:47
38Marine Strappazzon (Fra) Team Podiocom Cc 0:06:48
39Loes Sels (Bel) Iko – Crelan 0:06:56
40Amandine Fouquenet (Fra) Team Chazal - Canyon - 3g Immo 0:07:11
41Josie Nelson (GBr) 0:07:23
42Madigan Munro (USA) 0:07:32
43Lizzy Gunsalus (USA) 0:07:47
44Zina Barhoumi (Swi)
45Ffion James (GBr) 0:08:00
46Gaia Realini (Ita)
47Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est) 0:08:09
48Noemi Rüegg (Swi) 0:08:18
49Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:08:26
50Raylyn Nuss (USA)
51Stefanie Paul (Ger)
52Lara Krähemann (Swi) Jb Brunex Felt Factory Team
53Léa Curinier (Fra) Sunn Factory Racing
54Tina Züger (Swi)
55Lauren Zoerner (USA)
56Bethany Crumpton (GBr) Tarteletto - Isorex
57Anna Flynn (GBr)
58Marthe Truyen (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
59Marie Schreiber (Lux)
60Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano
61Nicole Göldi (Swi)
62Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)
63Kiona Crabbé (Bel)
64Giada Borghesi (Ita)
65Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa)
66Judith Krahl (Ger)
67Nina Küderle (Ger)
68Mélissa Rouiller (Swi)
69Lucie Cottier (Swi)
70Sara Cueto Vega (Spa)
71Diana Steffenhagen (Ger)
72Sophie Thackray (GBr)
73Siobhan Kelly (Can)
74Michelle Schätti (Swi)
75Fabienne Kipfmüller (Swi)
76Marta Zanga (Ita) Ktm Protek Dama
77Sterre Vervloet (Bel)
78Maria Parajon Fuentes (Spa)
79Claire Steciuk (Can)
80Kelly Lawson (Can)
81Laetitia Maus (Lux)
82Lies´L Schevenels (Bel)
DNFLaura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
DNFKatie Clouse (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld
DNFKaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld

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