Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) took another World Cup win in in Namur after leading solo from the very first lap.
The iconic Namur course is perhaps the most technically challenging race of the cyclocross calendar, complete with rooted woodland descents, impossibly steep ramps, a cobbled climb and an infamous off-camber downhill section that takes absolutely no prisoners.
On the hunt for a fourth consecutive victory, Brand set the tone from early in lap one by overtaking fast-starter Helene Clauzel (A.S. Bike Crossteam) as they turned into the woods. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) joined Brand on the climb, but soon found herself in the familiar position of chasing the world champion, with Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix) pursuing her in third. It was not an easy race for anyone, Brand, Betsema and Pieterse all hitting the deck more than once on the dangerously slick course, but the order stayed the same from the first lap to the finish.
Savouring her twenty second lead, Brand allowed herself to celebrate as she approached the finish line after a no-risk final lap, stretching her overall World Cup lead and sealing a fourth win in a row in Namur.
Betsema looked happy with second and Pieterse celebrated yet another elite podium finish to extend her lead in the U23 classification.