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Grace Brown says she feels that a big result is coming for her new FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope squad after several close calls this season.
Brown joined the French team over the winter after three years on the BikeExchange squad and has slotted into its aggressive style of racing very quickly. Since starting the year with the Australian national time trial title, Brown has taken a string of top-five placings and came close to the top-10 at Strade Bianche.
Meanwhile, the team has seen the podium five times already this season, but it has not been able to crack the top spot.
“I’m doing really well, the team has been really welcoming to me and I feel comfortable already,” Brown told VeloNews. “I’m hoping that soon we can get a result because the team is super strong and we’ve been working well together, so it’s coming.”
Brown’s good start to the season was almost derailed last week at the Nokere Koerse when she crashed and hit her head. Fortunately, tests did not reveal any sign of concussion and she has been able to continue her classics season unhindered.
Thankfully my head knock this week hasn’t resulted in any ongoing concussion symptoms, but it got me thinking that the women’s peloton has seemed to have more instances of bad head injuries than the men’s. Turns out there is some science behind that… https://t.co/RZcVjt9K2r
— Grace Brown (@GLBrown321) March 18, 2022
She has a hitlist of monuments on her horizon over the coming weeks with the Tour of Flanders, the second edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. She also lines up for Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
It’s no small feat but she’s hoping that some fortune comes her way, soon.
“I’m fine, thankfully, it wasn’t the nicest crash, but I managed to get away with minimal injuries,” Brown said. “I’m really looking forward to the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, they’re really big goals. Also, Liège I love that race after my second there two years ago. They are my more immediate targets. I’m feeling really good at the moment, so we can hope for some good results.”
Getting stuck into European racing with a European team is part of why Brown decided to change teams over the winter. She had become well settled at the Australian BikeExchange squad and wanted to give herself a new challenge in 2022.
“I think I was just looking to broaden my experience in the cycling peloton. It’s quite comfortable being in a team of your own nationality and I feel like if I wanted to grow and have a more full experience of Euro racing then moving to a Euro team sort of made sense,” Brown said.
“Also, I think the line-up of FDJ really suits me. We’ve got some super strong riders and it’s going to be really fun to work with Cecilie [Uttrup Ludwig] and Marta [Cavalli] in the finals of the big races.”