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Lucinda Brand’s cyclocross season woes have not yet abated with the Dutch star now suffering with an inflammation in her hand.
Brand fractured her right hand in the build-up to the Tábor World Cup at the end of October and she had to undergo surgery on it. She returned to racing just over two weeks ago, competing in five events since, including in Kortrijk and Hulst at the weekend.
Baloise-Trek Lions team manager Sven Nys told the CROSS podcast that she had been treated with antibiotics for an infection in her hand following the surgery and she was still having trouble with an inflammation.
“There is something in her hand that bothers her, anyway, but there is also a little bit of inflammation,” Nys told the CROSS podcast. “We don’t often talk about that, but we have to take great care of it. Until the day of Overijse you saw it building up, but then we noticed that inflammation is there now. To get rid of that, she started on antibiotics. You see that immediately. This had a real effect in Kortrijk and Hulst. Antibiotics are never good for an athlete’s performance.”
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Brand was in growing form at the start of the ‘cross season with a win at Meulebeke followed by podium places at Waterloo and Fayetteville. She has taken a string of top-5 placings since she came back from her injury but she has not yet been able to crack the podium.
It is not yet panic stations for the Dutch rider with the worlds still some two months away, though it is far from ideal. Nevertheless, she is improving and Nys is concerned about ensuring that her injury is well monitored over the coming weeks.
“You can see that inflammation is decreasing now, but we must continue to pay attention to the wounds, to what is happening internally in her hand, before we think about the world championships and how she appears there in top form. If it all falls into place, she’ll have it all back on track by January. But things can’t go wrong now, this is a tipping point,” he said.