The battle between Team Sunweb’s Lucinda Brand and current World Champion Sanne Cant was on from the start at the European Cyclocross Championships in Tábor Sunday. It came down to a sprint finish between the duo which left Brand narrowly missing out on the win to take silver for the second year in a row.
Off the paved start, Brand shot to the front of the pack, taking control of the grass and mud course with power and ease. By the end of the first lap Cant had found Brand at the front, where the two led the majority of the race, with only a couple other riders briefly breaking in to match the their strong pace and technical ability. The fast-paced course, tall barriers and technical uphill sections added to the excitement as the racers waged attacks and counter-attacks lap after lap.
An early bobble on the final lap meant Brand would have to reel in Cant and another rider in front. Once caught, Brand and Cant immediately attacked the climb which left the duo alone for the final sprint. Though Brand gave every effort, Cant simply had more left in the tank and crossed the finish first.
“I felt strong, rode strong, but in the end one [Cant] was just a little stronger,” said Brand after the race.
Brand will take a few weeks off and continue her cyclocross season in December.