Nikki Brammeier lined up for the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships with process-focused rather than results-focused goals. Her marker of success for Saturday’s race was her response to simple question – could she have done anything more?
“If I walk away knowing I gave it my all, I’ll be happy,” Brammeier said in the build-up to Bieles.
Having finished in the top five in the 2014-2016 Cyclocross World Championships, Brammeier has shown remarkable consistency in her ability to peak for the biggest race on the cyclocross calendar. The British champion’s preparation for Worlds this year was hampered by a crash in late October, which left her sidelined with a severe concussion, facial lacerations and a fractured sacrum. She returned to racing only last month.
Ninety seconds after Sanne Cant (Belgium) celebrated her victory over Marianne Vos (The Netherlands), Brammeier reached the finish line for the final time. The ride was good for ninth place.
“I’m happy considering the time I’ve had and the work I’ve put in to finish in the top ten,” said Brammeier. “You always want more at Worlds, but considering this last season, that’s what I had in me today.”
With a self-proclaimed “average start”, Brammeier spent the opening lap of the five-lap race working her way through the field
“I just missed the front group as a result,” she said. “I was feeling better every lap, and I was a bit sad there wasn’t one more lap at the end.”
Outside the top ten on the first passage of the finish line, Brammeier had made her way up to 10th place by the end of lap two.
“It was a case of picking off places,” said Brammeier. “I had one crash uphill, falling on my knees, but apart from that I rode a smooth race.”
What was the feeling as she left the race venue on Saturday?
“I left everything out there,” said Brammeier. “I can’t ask more from myself than that."