Telenet-Baloise celebrates in Hoogerheide

Lucinda Brand took first and Toon Aerts claimed World Cup overall victory

On an unseasonably hot and dry Sunday for January in The Netherlands, Lucinda Brand battled a pack at the front of the women’s elite cyclocross racers in the Hoogerheide World Cup and claimed a victory.

Belga Photo by David Stockman

It was her final race before the cyclocross World Championships next weekend in Switzerland, and she was happy to end on a high note going into cyclocrosses grand finale.

“I felt physically very strong today,” Brand said. “It looks like it will be an exciting race at World Championships next week. In that respect, this victory is very important for confidence.”

Trek Factory Racing rider Evie Richards kept pace with the top group and finished in a close fifth place. Belga Photo by David Stockman

Toon Aerts also ended the World Cup season on a high by claiming the overall victory. He came second in the Hoogerheide race which secured his position as overall points victor for the World Cup.

“I am very happy that I won the top World Cup ranking for the second time in a row,” Aerts said. “In the cross in Zolder, I slid backwards in my strength after my rib fractures. But you can see that I made a strong overall showing this year in the World Cup and finished well.”

Belga Photo by David Stockman

In the Hoogerheide juniors race, Thibau Nys finished a close race in third place. All eyes are on him as a favorite for the World Champion title next week.