Lucinda Brand made her comeback in cyclo-cross at the World Cup race in Dendermonde. And impressively so: the Dutch rider quickly secured a commendable second place behind the in-form Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. In the subsequent races, the 34-year-old Baloise Trek Lions rider performed exceptionally well. A move to Flanders could be partly the reason for these (future) top results, so the lady from Dordrecht told IDLProCycling.com.
"In the past, I always traveled back and forth, but at a certain point, that turned into a lot of traveling. There isn't much forest in the area around Dordrecht, so you always have to travel far to train in forested areas. I used to do this only on the specific cyclo-cross training day. Eventually, we decided it would be easier to spend several hours in the forest without having to travel. So, we looked for a place in Belgium where I can directly enter the forest. We had a chalet built there last summer," recalls Brand, not having to dig too deep into her memories to explain her moving process to yours truly.
"I have found that road cyclists are lazy in a certain way," says Brand
This 'urge to move' led Brand to settle in Belgium. A sponsored post on Instagram previously showed that the chalet was constructed by the Belgian construction company Noust, which builds sustainable buildings. "This season, I've moved to the cyclo-cross mecca of the world, and from now on, I am a part-time Belgian. I still have a lot of ambition and hope that this step will make me an even better cyclo-cross rider," she shared in the caption of that post.
"This winter, I will almost always be there," she confides to this website. "I can do the easier trainings in the forest, not just the cyclo-cross ones. Hopefully this will pay off, and I'll feel more comfortable and free on the bike. Otherwise, I was only hammering through the forest on Wednesdays, whereas now I also take calmer rides through the forest." And is that particular forest challenging enough for a skilled rider like Brand? We receive a confirming answer. "Most definitely. There are always things you can do better. But there are plenty of singletracks to enjoy."
According to Brand, it was necessary to quickly rekindle the cyclo-cross reflexes after a season of road cycling. "I have found that road cyclists are lazy in a certain way. Not in training, but in terms of posture on the bike. The road cyclist just sits on the bike and cruises around, albeit very fast. But as a cyclo-cross rider, you simply can't always stay seated. You need to keep your body moving. If you've spent the whole summer on a road bike, it's quite an adjustment. If I only train in the woods once during the winter, the acclimatization process takes a long time. Then the cyclo-cross reflexes take longer to return, and you'll more quickly seek the comforts of road cycling. Hopefully, this is also a great advantage I'll gain from the move."