A tireless Lisa Brennauer takes on the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships

“Again, I will be a bit busy,” Lisa Brennauer acknowledged a couple of weeks ago. It felt like a brutal understatement.

The multi-talented German rider had just returned home from Flanders, where she claimed the UCI World Champion rainbow jersey with her national squad in the team time trial mixed relay. Ahead of an historic weekend at the maiden edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, she had to make the extra trip to Bavaria for a school exam (she has been studying office management since March, in addition to her many athletic exploits this season.)

Naturally, a tireless Brennauer was already considering her upcoming challenges for the remainder of October. The UEC European Track Championships (October 5-9) were to come right after Paris-Roubaix, as preparation for the 2021 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships, also held in Roubaix (October 20-24).

Charging forward on all fronts, Lisa Brennauer doesn’t only seem ubiquitous. She’s also extremely successful.

A stellar year on the road and in the velodromes

In Roubaix, she narrowly missed out on the podium (fourth) but she left a strong mark on a highly emotional day, taking massive shifts on the cobbles at the front of the group chasing the eventual winner Lizzie Deignan. Brennauer’s top five in the Hell of the North is another strong result in the 2021 cobbled Classics, after stepping on the podium of the Ronde van Vlaanderen (second) and Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Field (third) in the spring.

The German National Champion (both in the road race and the individual time trial) also impressed in the road events of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. She was sixth in the road race and the individual time trial, but she achieved her greatest success on the track where, in the velodrome of Izu, she won the Olympic Games gold medal in the team pursuit with a massive performance to defeat Great Britain and their star rider Laura Trott, winner in 2012 and 2016.

The year before, the German squad had to settle for the bronze medal in the UCI Worlds held in Berlin, Germany. Since then, Brennauer and her partners had risen to the top of the game. “From training, we knew that we could ride the world record,” Brennauer recalled recently on Eurosport. Indeed, the German champ and her compatriots Franziska Brausse, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kröger set new records three times in Japan, before clocking a time of 4’04’’242 in the final.

Better than ever?

Since then, Brennauer has shown again her raw power on the road. In Flanders, she was fifth in the individual time trial (an event she dominated in 2014) and 11th in the road race. And her recent competitive return to the track has been crowned with further success.

In Grenchen (Switzerland), only a week ago, she took two European titles as she dominated both the individual and team pursuits. In the collective event, Brennauer again partnered up with Mieke Kröger (they also rode together the team time-trial mixed relay in Flanders), Fransiska Brausse, also an Olympic Champion in the team pursuit last summer, and Laura Süssemilch, participating in her first international championships.

In the individual event, Brennauer has taken the silver medal in the last two UCI Track Cycling World Championships, against Ashlee Ankudinoff (AUS) in Pruszkow 2019 and Chloé Dygert in Berlin 2020. On that occasion, the American powerhouse set the world record (3:16.937) to take gold ahead of three German riders, with a margin of just 6secs over Brennauer.

Dygert won’t be in Roubaix for the UCI Worlds, as she has put an end to her season to try and recover better from the serious injuries she sustained in 2019. Meanwhile, Brennauer is in top condition, as shown by her time of 3:18.538 in the qualifying round of the individual pursuit in the recent UEC European Championships (she raced 3:19.548 in the final).

2021 has been an extremely busy year for Lisa Brennauer but she still has some energy left in her tank.