Daphny van den Brand signs for AA Drink-Leontien.nl
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daphny van den Brand signs for AA Drink-Leontien.nl

by Ben Atkins at 8:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
One more season at the top for multiple Dutch cyclocross champion

daphny van den brandEuropean cyclocross champion Daphny van den Brand has signed with the AA Drink-Leontien.nl team on a one-year contract. The 32-year-old from Zeeland in the Netherlands had considered retirement at the end of the current cyclocross season but a winter blighted by bronchial problems has caused her to carry on for at least another year.

“I’m very happy with this move,” she told the Omroep Brabant. “Despite the disappointing season I have not doubted myself. I’ll have been on my bike for 25 years next season and I would like to be winning once more.”

Van den Brand has been Dutch national cyclocross champion an incredible eleven times, but has only been World champion once, in 2003. Her big target for the 2011/12 will be to take a second title at the World Championships, which will be held on the sand dunes of Koksijde on the north coast of Belgium, where she won the World Cup race in 2007.

“It’s an ideal race for me,” she said. “Koksijde is a tough parcours and that suits me well.”

Part of the reason for her move is that sponsor ZZPR.nl, for whom van den Brand has ridden for a number of seasons, may well be pulling out of the sport. The chance to join an established team, which boasts men’s cyclocross riders such like Thijs Al, was too good to miss; as will the opportunity to be reunited with team manager Michael Zijlaard and the team’s iconic figurehead Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel.

"I want to see out my last season as a cyclocross rider very much with this team,” said van den Brand. “And where I can be better off at a team where I know everything is well organised.

“I became world champion in 2003 at Farm Frites, a team led by Michael,” she added. “It would be great if I could finish my career next year in Koksijde with the rainbow jersey."

While predominantly a cyclocross rider, van den Brand does ride a number of road races in preparation for the winter season. She will be expected to ride a number of road races for her new team this year but currently her programme has not been decided.


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