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 shown her strength in the final mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia Donne. For a long time, the 20-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma Women rode uphill with the best but had to let her rivals go on the penultimate climb. Van Empel is eleventh in the general classification.
The race ignited early on Il Vigneto, a second-category climb. The pace was high, and the peloton was quickly reduced to a group of around 30 riders. Van Empel was feeling good and attacked just before the summit. The Dutchwoman was the first to reach the summit but was caught by the rest of the peloton a little later.
On the Cima Paravenna, the penultimate climb of the day, the peloton split. Van Empel rode at her own pace and eventually crossed the line in 21st place. Race leader Annemiek van Vleuten was the strongest rider for the second consecutive day, extending her lead in the general classification.
"We hope to take a stage win in Sardinia"
"Fem did very well again today", race coach Carmen Small said. "The fact that she was so strong and consistent in her first grand tour is certainly satisfying. Congratulations to the team who did everything possible to put Fem in the best possible position. Tomorrow we have a day of travel planned, and then we hope to take a stage win in Sardinia."