Lucinda Brand is slowly rebuilding her form after recovering from a broken hand sustained in a crash ahead of the Tabor World Cup in October.
The former World Champion has returned to racing this month with her best finish in fourth place at the World Cup in Overijse, but she aims to improve her form and performance as the season progresses.
“I knew it was going to be difficult, but if you don’t play a significant role at all, it’s very weird and difficult,” Brand said in an interview with WielerFlits (opens in new tab) regarding the Dutch round of the World Cup Beekse Bergen on November 13 where she finished seventh.
Brand stood on the podium at the opening World Cup rounds in Waterloo and Fayetteville; however, she broke a metacarpal, one of the bones between the fingers and wrist, during the pre-ride of the course for the Tabor round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup on October 23.
She underwent surgery the next day in Belgium and was fitted with a cast.
She was forced to skip her title defense at the UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships, won by her Dutch compatriot Fem van Empel.
Although Brand returned to compete at the Beekse Bergen World Cup, she could only manage seventh place and was unable to contest the race with podium finishers Shirin van Anrooij, Fem van Empel and Puck Pieterse.
“It really felt like I wasn’t taking part in the race. I was cycling in no man’s land all the time,” Brand said.
She has gone on to improve her performance with two fourth-place finishes at Superprestige Merksplas and the World Cup in Overijse last weekend.
“I should be happy with that,” Brand said. “This weekend was really much better. Last week, I was really not feeling well.”
During her recovery, Brand said she spent much of her time training indoors, but she expects to rebuild her form quickly heading into the next part of the season.
“I was able to train a bit, but it was different. I trained for much less time, had to cycle a lot indoors and couldn’t do cross-training. That’s all very different. I was able to complete good training sessions, which I normally will benefit from within a few weeks. At least, I hope so,” Brand said.