British national champion Nikki Brammeier returned to racing again in mid-December, having sustained a back fracture in a heavy collision with Helen Wyman at the European Cyclo-Cross Championship in October.
Brammeier threw herself back into competition with a weekend double bill, and was delighted to take fourth place at Overijse on Sunday, December 11, having placed ninth at Essen the day before.
“Couldn’t be happier with this weekend, even with another crash and mechanical today I still enjoyed every second and am really happy with fourth,” she tweeted.
“It’s never easy going back into races, especially mid-way through the season,” she told Cycling Weekly, “but I have to start somewhere and I feel ready to get back to racing and enjoy it. I’m not focused on results; I just want to try and enjoy the process for now and after a few weeks I will see where I’m at.”
At the end of October at the European Championships in Luxembourg, Brammeier and Wyman had a first-lap coming together, resulting in a broken collarbone for Wyman and cuts, bruises and a fractured sacrum for Brammeier.
However, the break healed in just five weeks.
“I was told it would probably be six to eight weeks before it was fully healed but I was optimistic and I wanted to get the scan a little earlier. I was right. It confirmed the fracture had healed so I’m really happy about that,” she said.
“It’s been a difficult few weeks, first of all with the concussion and facial injuries and then having to be patient with my back. It’s helped me to be a little more patient with myself.”
Brammeier has also been named on the British Cycling Podium Programme for 2017 — another bit of positive news that will help her focus on her coming goals. “It’s nice to have the extra network of support,” she said.