It hasn’t been the easiest season for Nikki Brammeier who was sidelined all of November and the first half of December due to a severe concussion and fracture in the sacrum, sustained at the 2016 European Cyclocross Championships in Pont-Château. She’s returned to racing in Essen, recording a ninth place finish, and has lined up another nine times since – finishing in the top ten every time but twice.
Accustomed to battling for the podium from the front of the race, Brammeier’s relied on her mental strength as much of her physical strength as she rebuilds her fitness and race acumen. A podium in Rucphen last weekend backed up by a strong ride in Hoogerheide for the final World Cup of the 2016/2017 season has provided the confidence Brammeier needs in the Bieles 2017 build-up.
“I’m in a good place at the moment,” said Brammeier. “I feel good on the bike, and I’m excited to race on Saturday. The hard work I’ve been putting in these last five to six weeks is coming into play now. I feel a shift in my form.”
Brammeier has three times finished in the top five at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships with fifth place in Hoogerheide (2014), fourth place in Tabor (2015) and fifth place again in Zolder (2016). While admittedly disappointed to miss out on the medal, she was pragmatic in post-race interviews noting that she had emptied herself completely in pursuit of the podium. She has set a similar marker of success for herself come Saturday’s race in Bieles.
“If I walk away knowing I gave it all, I’ll be happy,” Brammeier said.
The 30-year-old has yet to preview the course that her teammate Christine Majerus has said “has a little bit of everything”. Following her usual pre-race routine, Brammeier will pre-ride the course on Friday.
“The course looks fun on the videos I’ve seen,” said Brammeier. “It looks hard, technical and demanding – all of which a ‘cross course should be. I’m sure it will provide a good race.”
- Visit the official race website.
- Bookmark this UCI YouTube page to watch Brammeier (and Majerus) in action on Saturday.
- Watch the 2017 UCI Cyclocross World Championships teaser.
- Throwback to Brammeier’s best World’s result with the full replay from the 2015 Tabor World Championships.
- Follow on social media using #Bieles2017 hashtag