A year after her crash in the opening meters of the 2016 European Cyclocross Championships in Pont-Château, France, which left her sidelined with a severe concussion and back fracture, Nikki Brammeier is aiming to replace that experience with a successful result at the 2017 European ‘Cross Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, this Sunday.
The British cyclocross champion is going after a fifth podium place at the European ‘cross championships – and maybe even the win.
“I’m looking forward to racing the Europeans on Sunday,” Brammeier said. “I would love to win the European championships, I want to win every race I ride.”
Luxembourg cyclocross champion Christine Majerus will not start at the European championships, originally only starting her cyclocross season mid-November.
“As I felt pretty okay after the first days of training, I decided to do some smaller cross races in Luxembourg just for fun,” Majerus said. “But then I got a bit ill, and it doesn’t really make sense to race under these conditions – especially if you didn’t even plan to race that early.”
Brammeier has had a successful run at European championships over the last couple of years. Before crashing out of the European championships last year, she finished on the podium in four consecutive editions. She won bronze and silver in 2012 and 2013 respectively, while compatriot Helen Wyman won the title in both years. Brammeier collected bronze in 2014 and 2015, when Belgian rider Sanne Cant took the win in both championships.
The 2013 European championships were actually held in the Czech Republic as well, but the venue was at Mladà Boleslav instead of Tabor. Brammeier is happy to return to Tabor, having had some great results on the undulating course.
“I really like the Tabor course,” Brammeier said. “I think this weekend will be dry, which will make it a fast race. But it’s also a heavy course, on the side of a hill. So it’s a tough one.”
“I’ve had some good results there in the past: a second place in the last World Cup there and when it was the World Championships course a couple of years ago, I finished fourth after battling for the win the whole race,” she said. “So I have some good memories with that venue.”
Despite the good results in the past, Brammeier doesn’t take to the start with a specific goal in mind.
“All I can do is give what I have on the day. If that’s enough for a medal, I’m happy. And if don’t have what it takes and it’s someone else’s day, then so be it.”
The elite women’s race at the 2017 European Cyclocross Championships is held on Sunday November 5, the start will be given at 1.00pm CET.