Six weeks after horror crash, Brammeier back in the race game

Posted on: December 13th, 2016

Nikki Brammeier was back in the game this weekend six weeks after a terrible crash at the European cyclocross championships at the end of October. The British national champion managed to finish races both yesterday and today, and even managed to take a fine fourth in the latter. 


By Brian Canty

Six weeks after fracturing her back in a crash at the European cyclocross championships in France, Nikki Brammeier was back racing this weekend.

The Boels-Dolmans rider, wife of current Irish professional Matt Brammeier, was the victim of a crash again today but thankfully, it was not serious and she even managed to take fourth in the hotly-contested race in Overijse, Belgium.

It was a cracking contest this afternoon in extremely testing conditions, with Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet –Fidea) riding away from the rest of the field and staying away until the finish.

Brammeier was one of a few who stayed in the contest to battle for third and though she made a fine fist of it, Jolien Verschueren (Telenet-Fidea) had too much.

“I crashed pretty heavy just after Lucinda (Brand – Rabo Liv) on the road. That’s when Jolien Verschueren (Telenet-Fidea) managed to close the gap to us,” Brammeier explained.

“I got up, rode a lap around to the pits and changed my bike as the gears weren’t shifting properly. I worked my way back up after that and felt strong in the last lap. That’s when I got myself to fourth.”

I couldn’t be happier with how this weekend has gone. If you had said to me even this time last week I would have been able to do a double race weekend, I would have questioned it.”

Brammeier’s return is a comeback of significant proportions and her spill in October was one of the worst of her career.

She had broken bones and torn muscles, more cuts and bruises than she could count but nothing near as serious as her concussion.

In the aftermath she recalled how her face “was starting to swell and the pain soon started to get worse and the agony had only just begun.”

“The only way to describe it is was like a hard metal headband tightening around my head and not releasing.

“I started to vomit. I couldn’t really walk without help because my balance was totally off. All I could think was, it will get better.”

Thankfully, with the help of top medical personnel in the UK, she was given the all-clear to resume training last month and now looks to be very much back on course for the UCI World Championships in Luxembourg next month.

She flies to Spain tomorrow for a training camp in Calpe followed by more ‘cross action next weekend at the Scheldecross in Antwerpen.

And on Sunday it will be the real test; the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup race in Namur.