A broken nose caused by a crash in the Zonhoven World Cup did not stop Lucinda Brand from winning her National Cyclo-Cross Championship for a third time this weekend and the Dutch star confirmed immediately afterwards that she will now continue training and racing despite her injury.
The Baloise-Trek-Lions rider is set to give her newly gained 2024 Dutch National Champion’s jersey its first outing at the Benidorm World Cup on January 21st, she told reporters in the Nationals’ mixed zone area at Hoogeveen and will train in Spain with her road team beforehand.
Brand crashed heavily at speed whilst leading the Zonhoven World Cup on January 7th, breaking her nose and having to abandon the race.
The 34-year-old told reporters she had been able to train normally during the build-up to her latest national title and was ready to fight on again.
“A national title is a very nice reward because it was a bit of a shock last week,” she said, according to In De Leiderstrui.
“Luckily I didn’t have any problems breathing. I haven’t got much better, but on Tuesday training went as I wanted and I just felt good.”
Brand said that barring Monday, when she had had to have checkups, her schedule had been the same as usual, and that her recent spell of good form ensured she was in no doubt about her underlying condition. At Zonhoven she looked to be comfortably en route to claiming her third World Cup of this season before the crash happened.
“We did get an X-ray because if it does require surgery it needs doing in the first 10 days,” she said. Brand explained that if the nose re-set incorrectly without surgery, an operation would then be necessary in any case, followed by three weeks without racing.
Despite the crash for now she remained headache-free, she told reporters, and – just – able to blow her nose, but one notable consequence was she had to race without wearing glasses.
“I was afraid of getting mud in my eyes, but I had such a bad start [to the Nationals race] that didn’t matter,” she laughed. The complete recovery process will take six weeks, she said, “but I can still race.”