Lucinda Brand wins again in Herentals

HULST NETHERLANDS JANUARY 02 Lucinda Brand of The Netherlands and Team Baloise Trek Lions celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 6th Hulst Vestingcross UCI CycloCross Worldcup 2022 Womens Elite CXWorldCup UCIcyclocrossWC on January 02 2022 in Hulst Netherlands Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Lucinda Brand (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Another day, another victory for Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions), who once again left her rivals in her wake in the Herentals round of the X2O Badkamers Trofee on Wednesday.

The world champion delivered another commanding performance to claim her seventh straight victory and her 16th of the season in total, leading for four of the six laps. 

She has now won four of the five rounds of the X2O series but doesn't have the overall lead, as Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) finished second and did just enough to hang on at the top of the standings. 

Annemarie Worst (777) got the better of Sanne Cant (Iko-Crelan) to grab the final podium spot, while Maghalie Rochette edged out Manon Bakker to round out the top five.

It was Betsema who made the fastest start, surging out of the blocks and crossing the finish line for the first time with a five-second advantage and, crucially, collecting 15 bonus seconds for her efforts. Brand nipped through the chasers on the athletics track in the middle of the lap and made sure she was second to collect 10 seconds of her own. 

The pair then came together on the second lap, along with Cant. Betsema launched an audacious pass on a steep downhill but the tables immediately turned on one of the steep uphill rutted sections through the trees. 

Brand crossed the line at the end of the second lap with a four-second lead and then proceeded to sail further and further into the distance. She was much stronger on the steep runs through the craggy mud and made no mistakes on the treacherous dips down. 

By the end of lap 3 she was 24 seconds in front and, while she only added two more seconds on lap 4, she took the bell with a lead of 32 seconds. At that point, the win was not in doubt and the true drama surrounded the overall series lead. 

Brand had won three of the four rounds up to that point but the standings are based on overall time, and she had lost significant ground in the Koppenbergcross opener. Betsema, winless but consistent in the series this year, led by 46 seconds at the start of the day and, thanks to her five extra bonus seconds on lap 1, needed to finish within 51 seconds of Brand to retain the lead. 

After Brand launched a powerful sprint all the way to the line, Betsema cut a more laboured figure as she came down the home straight but managed to stop the clock on 49 seconds, hanging onto her overall lead by two seconds.

Behind, Worst and Cant had been locked in a podium battle for much of the race but Dutchwoman prevailed after the Belgium champion struggled to clip in at the top of the main climb on the penultimate lap. Bakker had a strong start but suffered a crash and had to settle for sixth behind Rochette. 

They were the only riders to finish within three minutes of Brand. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) had her race ruined by a mechanical and ended up in seventh at 4:28, while US riders Clara Honsinger and Madigan Munro nestled into the top-10, which was rounded out by Karen Verhestraeten. 

Three rounds of the X2O Badkamers Trofee remain, with the Flandriencross later this month, followed by the Krawatencross and Brussels Universities Cyclocross in February. It's a two-horse race, with Betsema leading Brand by two seconds and followed by a five-minute gulf to third-placed Worst.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:49:56
2Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:49
3Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:00:59
4Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko - Crelan 0:01:16
5Maghalie Rochette (Can) Specialized/Feedback Sports 0:02:09
6Manon Bakker (Ned) Iko - Crelan 0:02:17
7Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 0:04:28
8Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld 0:04:45
9Madigan Munro (USA) Trek Factory Racing CX 0:05:11
10Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Iko - Crelan 0:05:26
11Loes Sels (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT 0:07:10
12Famke van Waterschoot (Ned) 0:07:30
13Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel) Pissei - Groep T.O.M
14Lizzy Gunsalas (USA)
15Marlies Vos (Ned)
16Tessa Zwenepoel (Bel)
17Lauren Zoerner (USA)
18Rosanne Breugelmans (Bel) Pissei - Groep T.O.M
19Emily Werner (USA)
20Lise van Wunsel (Bel)
21Christine Verdonck (Bel)
22Laura Greenhalgh (GBr) Velorevolution WPcycles
23Esther van der Burg (Ned) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT
24Bridget Tooley (USA)
25Jennifer Malik (USA)
26Rebecca Gross (USA)
27Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Velorevolution WPcycles
28Indy van Os (Ned)
29Siobhan Kelly (Can)
30Lieke van Weereld (Ned)
DNFFemke Gort (Ned) Pissei - Groep T.O.M
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X2O Trofee standings
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal04:01:22
2Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:00:02
3Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:05:34
4Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) 0:06:32
5 Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO - Crelan 0:09:22
6Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld 0:12:26
7Maghalie Rochette (Can) 0:14:26
8Anna Kay (GBr) StarCasino 0:16:03
9Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) 0:16:21
10Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx 0:16:26

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.

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