Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Fem van Empel has won the Superprestige in Overijse with an impressive display of power. The 21-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma pulled away from her rivals from the start. Her lead was never jeopardised. It is Van Empel's third victory of the season.
Van Empel, who won the World Cup in Waterloo last week, set the pace from the start. The reigning world champion immediately put the pressure on her rivals, and by the middle of the first lap, she was ten seconds ahead of the competition.
As the race progressed, Van Empel comfortably extended her lead. Without pushing too hard, the Dutchwoman rode to an unchallenged victory. "I didn't expect to have such a lead", the winner said.
"I wanted to start conservatively, but I felt good and thought: why wait if I can set the pace? At one point, I had a gap and was a little ahead every lap."
"I managed the race well"
The Druivencross, as the race in Overijse is known, is considered one of the most challenging and varied courses on the cyclocross circuit. Van Empel finished second here last year, but this time, she showed that she is best at dealing with the muddy sections and the altitude differences.
"I managed the race well. In some sections, I slowed down a bit and in others, I tried to go faster. I think it was well balanced." After victories in Beringen and Waterloo, this was Van Empel's third cyclocross victory.