Brammeier looks strong on way to World Cup podium
Nikki Brammeier hopes for further tough races so she can show her strength, she tells Vern Pitt
Nikki Brammeier is hoping for continued bad weather in Europe over the coming months after bagging her first World Cup podium of the season in Koksijde on Sunday.
Brammeier was leading at the end of the first of five laps through the sandy course in Belgium and was only narrowly beaten into second by Dutchwoman Denise Betsema, who took off from the highly select front group on the fifth and final lap.
Former British champion Brammeier had looked strong throughout the tough and technical race, often being the rider to close gaps and shut down attacks, including one by world champion Sanne Cant.
Brammeier said: “I’m super happy. It was my first target race of the season and the races this year have been super fast, more like criteriums, and Koksijde is really heavy going whether it’s dry or not.”
She added: “We’ve only had one muddy race, most have been one bike. It’s been like criterium racing, and those don’t seem to suit me.”
She said that she had “felt really strong” for several weeks but that the fast races hadn’t played to her strengths and enabled her to show what she was capable of.
The Mudiiita rider switched coaches this year to work with Marc Lamberts, who also coaches men’s cross world champion Wout van Aert, which she said had been a key component in her success. Brammeier is taking this weekend off from racing as she trains and prepares. “I wanted to feel like I build through the season and not peak too early. I’m feeling really motivated,” she said.
“Koksijde was the first target race and I’m looking towards races like Baal [GP Sven Nys], Overijse [Druivencross] and the National and World Championships.”
Meanwhile, in the under-23 men’s race Tom Pidock continued his domination of the World Cup competition, taking a clear win, while rival Eli Iserbyt punctured. Fellow Brit Ben Turner (Corendon-circus) also put in a strong performance, finishing just off the podium in fourth place.
Brammeier excelled on the sandy course in Koksijde Tom Pidcock’s World Cup domination continued in Belgium