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Lucinda Brand wins the GP Sven Nys

DENDERMONDE BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Lucinda Brand Nedand Team Baloise Trek Lions celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 2nd Dendermonde UCI CycloCross Worldcup 2021 Womens Elite CXWorldCup UCIcyclocrossWC on December 26 2021 in Dendermonde Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) (Image credit: Getty Images)

World champion Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) won the GP Sven Nys, her third win in the X2O Trofee series, getting the better of Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) after a close battle at the front of the race.

The top two were separated by four seconds after 44 minutes of racing, while series leader Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) finished in third place, 37 seconds down.

Brand's victory is her fifth in a row and her 14th of the current cyclo-cross season, including five rounds of the UCI World Cup as well as the European Championships.

After finishing, having raced with 'Amy' painted on her helmet, she dedicated her win to compatriot Amy Pieters, who remains in hsopital with a head injury following a training crash last week.

"I had to keep pressure on Ceylin but she kept coming back," she said. "It's a very difficult time. It's nice to win but other things are more important. I had to keep going to win – it was so hard.

"I am constantly thinking of [Amy] and her family. I hope they can take some strength from this."

The 32-year-old had gotten the better of Alvarado in a close battle on the last lap of the race, only managing to eke out a gap at the very end to claim victory. The pair had been away from the rest of the field from the early laps after leaving Betsema behind when the trio had pulled out a gap on lap one.

Alvarado lost ground to Brand on a descent during lap four, but made her way back to the front on the final lap. However, Brand was able to pull away once again as the lead duo reached a group of lapped riders, and Alvarado couldn't make it across despite a dogged fightback.

Brief results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:44:28
2Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:04
3Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:37
4Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:01:15
5Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:32
6Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:02:08
7Blanka Kata Vas (Hun) SD Worx 0:02:20
8Maghalie Rochette (Can) Specialized-Feedback Sports 0:02:25
9Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld 0:03:01
10Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld

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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.

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