34-year-old French rider Christel Ferrier-Bruneau finished her career after nine years. In the last couple of races, she seemed to be in good form, but she decided the Koppenbergcross would be her last race.
“First I wanted to end with the road world championships in Firenze but I left the race ill in an ambulance. So I decided to add some ‘cross racing to conclude my career,” Ferrier-Bruneau said.
“I wanted to retire at the European championships next weekend but the French coach decided to send only one rider. After this weekend it’s a long time before there’s another big race and the sand of Koksijde isn’t my thing. That’s why I chose the Koppenbergcross. I’ve never done it in the past.”
“It’s too bad that I wasn’t able to get on the podium. I realized that three others were stronger than me. It was hard to deal with that but I went to the limit. That’s also why I crashed at the end of the second lap. I wasn't lucid enough,” Ferrier-Bruneau continued. Now, she is looking forward to spend time with her family, but also to start a family.
Ferrier-Bruneau won two French titles on the road in 2009 and 2011.
“Riding in Beijing was a highlight too, finishing thirteenth. In cyclo-cross the world championships in Treviso come to my mind. I led the race with Hanka Kupfernagel. On the last lap Marianne Vos and Laurence Leboucher overtook me and I fell off the podium.”
Jan Denuwelaere won a round of the Bpost Bank cyclo-cross series in Essen last year. In the race, he was first taken down by Zdenek Stybar, but was then awarded victory as the Czech rider was relegated. Denuwelaere also took wins in Bredene (2012) and Zonnebeke (2009).
“Last year I already noticed that I wasn’t enjoying my life as a professional rider as I was supposed to do. During training camps, I noticed most other riders are passionate about the bike and that’s what I’m lacking. I’m crazy about many other things, as long as it’s fun. It’s not necessary physical but more technical,” Denuwelaere said on Sporza.