Victories in E3 Saxo Classic and Gent-Wevelgem in photos
Last weekend, with E3 Saxo Classic and Gent-Wevelgem, two big Flemish classics w...
Wout van Aert and Fem van Empel demonstrated splendid form at the X2O Trophy in Hamme on Saturday. With impressive solos they gave Team Jumbo-Visma in Belgium a double victory. It served as a valuable warm-up for next weekend's cyclocross world championships.
It was Van Empel's turn in the early afternoon. Already assured of victory in the overall World Cup standings, the 20-year-old Van Empel did not participate in the World Cup CX in Besançon. She performed at her peak at Hamme, gaining the lead after the first two laps and maintaining it for the rest of the race.
"I'll have a great feeling going to Hoogerheide because of today's triumph"
Van Empel did not anticipate taking her thirteenth victory of the year in this manner. "I only got back from the training camp in Spain yesterday. I was still a little fatigued, so I didn't feel fantastic. On the first lap, I made a mistake at the material zone, but after that, I recovered well. It wasn't really my intention to be in the lead so early. Then I tried to ride as consistently as possible, even shifting gear in certain areas."
Following Van Empel's performance, it was Van Aert's turn at precisely three o'clock. "I noticed right away at Fem that the course's several challenging sections make it preferable to ride your own course here." The Belgian pulled away from his competitors after two laps and soloed to the finish. "Throughout the race, I had to maintain my composure. I spent a lot of time riding by myself and always watched for errors. When you win the cross in such a manner, you can only call it a good race."
"I noticed right away at Fem that the course's several challenging sections make it preferable to ride your own course here"
It was Van Aert's ninth victory of the season. The Belgian aims to conclude his successful winter with the world title next week in Hoogerheide. "Next week, I will rest well to be fresh for the start of the world championships. I am very ambitious, and I am really looking forward to it."
The young Dutchwoman, who will compete in her maiden world championships in the elite category, is not nervous. "I'm preparing for the world championships like any other race. I'll have a great feeling going to Hoogerheide because of today's triumph."