Carrot cake helped Pieterse recover: "If you're not completely empty, you didn't do it right" Cyclo-cross

Carrot cake helped Pieterse recover: "If you're not completely empty, you didn't do it right"

Carrot cake helped Pieterse recover: "If you're not completely empty, you didn't do it right"

Puck Pieterse finished third at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tábor on Saturday. The Dutch rider had been dealing with illness issues the previous week, so she could certainly be proud of her podium finish given the circumstances. However, disappointment still prevailed for the Fenix-Deceuninck rider.

After the race, Pieterse was visibly exhausted. She took a moment for herself in the mixed zone to catch her breath and, after a grueling afternoon in the Czech mud, went to the press room - where she also had to hold a press conference - in search of some sugar to eat.

Carrot cakes provided the solution, so the logical first question from was: Puck, how are you feeling now? She replied in a single sentence, full of determination, "This carrot cake helped me with recovery. If you don't cross the finish line completely empty, you haven't done it right."

She described the World Championships in Tábor as a challenging race. "From the beginning, gaps were created, and they only got bigger, so it was a fair race. It was difficult to stay focused," she said. Pieterse seemed on her way to second place for a long time but had to settle for third place behind diesel engine Lucinda Brand in the final laps.

At one point, Lucinda noticed that Pieterse was struggling. She explained, "Puck was stronger in the beginning, but the gap remained the same for quite a while. Then she suddenly seemed to have less left in the tank, and that's when I thought: now I have to make my move. It was a beautiful but short duel. It was a demanding day. Cyclo-cross is always tough, but this was a very challenging course. I had to run more than usual in Tábor," Brand concluded.

brand van empel pieterse

Pieterse doesn't want to dwell on "what-ifs": "We'll never know"

After her illness the previous week, many believed that Pieterse could have achieved more, but she was not one to dwell on "what-ifs." She promptly dismissed such conclusions, stating, "We will never know. I was able to train well, so I don't know how much of an effect it had. I'm happy to finish on the podium after such a week, but my hope was to win here."

Ultimately, she had to concede second place to Brand, who admitted that she also had a challenging week leading up to the World Championships. Brand said, "The lead-up to the World Championships was almost a downer again. Last weekend, I was in great shape, but this week I had a slight dip. Fortunately, I was able to bounce back quickly and felt fine now. On Monday, I wasn't feeling well, but luckily that quickly improved after a few quieter days."

In the end, it was enough to hold off her compatriot in the battle for second place. Pieterse mentioned that part of her motivation was for the spectators, saying, "It was nice to ride here. Czech fans are always very loud and good at cheering."

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