Lucinda Brand is the winner of the 2022 Tour de Suisse Women. In a dramatic stage marked by tactics, rain and a crash, Lucinda Brand won both the stage and the overall classification. Jolanda Neff finished the Tour strongly in fifth place.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win the Tour de Suisse Women,” said the overjoyed stage and overall winner Lucinda Brand. “It was very tough today. I knew I had to attack because I saw how strong Kristen Faulkner looked today. So I attacked well before the finish to take a lead into the climb.” But her plan was foiled one kilometre from the finish line. “When I heard that Kristen was alone in the chase and the lead was getting smaller fast, I knew that my chance for the overall win was dwindling. I tried to jump on her wheel when she overtook me and told myself that I just had to stay on until the last corner.” The tactic worked perfectly: “I sprinted early to be first at the technically difficult corner and pulled all the way through. I heard Kristen fall but didn’t have time to look back in that moment”. And so Lucinda Brand climbed onto the podium as stage and overall winner. Faulkner had to settle with second place. Jolanda Neff was the best Swiss rider in tenth place on the day, finishing with a convincing fifth place in the General Classification.
Photos: Buchli Photography/Sam Buchli
How the race unfolded
It was a calm start to the race. The pace was relaxed. There were no attacks. All were trying to conserve their energy reserves for the difficult mountains that were to come. Shortly before the QOM at Wolfgangpass, a first category climb, Switzerland’s Sina Frei and France’s Victorie Guilman accelerated. But their attack was neutralised before the summit as Team Bike Exchange kept pursuing. In the short counter-climb to Davos Wiesen, Team Trek-Segafredo managed to briefly isolate the Leader Kristen Faulkner. Lucinda Brand used this moment to attack and Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff jumped with her. The duo built up a lead of 50 seconds by the foot of the final climb. Faulkner seemed to have lost the Tour de Suisse Women but with a show of strength she caught up with Brand with one kilometre to go. In the last metres, Brand accelerated and came into the last, tight bend ahead of Faulkner. The American fell on the last corner, so that Brand not only took the day’s victory, but also gained some distance from Faulkner in the overall standings.