Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Marianne Vos and Fem van Empel finished the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia Donne in the top ten. Elisa Longo Borghini won the stage after a late attack. Vos sprinted to fifth in the chase group, while van Empel finished ninth.
Three riders attacked early on Monday. The peloton and Team Jumbo-Visma Women kept the lead small, and the group was caught well before the finish. Three climbs awaited the riders in Italy. Marianne Vos and Fem van Empel survived the climbs. But they couldn't keep up when Longo Borghini attacked with pink jersey wearer Annemiek van Vleuten and Veronica Ewers.
"We knew it would be difficult to catch these three strong riders", race coach Carmen Small said. "It's a shame that the teams in the chase group didn't work well together. We wanted to sprint again today with Marianne after her second place yesterday, but things just didn't go our way today."
"We can be happy with the way we rode today"
Van Empel agreed with Small. "It's a shame we couldn't get closer to the top three. But I think we did a good job today. We can be happy with the way we rode."
The Dutch squad's only twenty-year-old rider even picked up a few points in the mountains classification on the first climb and is now in fourth place. "It wasn't really my intention. I just wanted to test my legs compared to the others. I felt a bit nauseous this morning. It was all about surviving today, but I got through the stage well."