Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 2:36 PM
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado can look back on an extremely successful cross weekend. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider was by far the strongest on Saturday in the Superprestige of Niel and also proved superior today in the World Cup of Dendermonde. Alvarado rode away from Lucinda Brand on the first lap, who finished second on her return to the field.
A day after Niel’s grueling blubbercross, the cyclo-cross riders were back in action on Sunday. And today cyclo-cross enthusiasts could once again look forward to a mud festival. After a year of absence, the Dendermonde World Cup event returned to the calendar. Among the elite women – in the absence of world champion and slob Fem van Empel – the main focus was on Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado.
Reappearing Brand is immediately alert
The Rotterdam native with Dominican roots has been in excellent shape throughout the cyclo-cross season and won the Superprestigecross from Niel with gusto on Saturday. Alvarado just didn’t have the best start, because it was clearly for Lucinda Brand. The Baloise Trek Lions rider, back from injury, took off in her first cross of the season. Brand immediately made a breach and, with Alvarado, only one rider appeared to be able to follow.
In the first minutes there was still talk of a duel – photo: Cor Vos
The first minutes belonged to Brand, but Alvarado quickly took the lead and drove quite far away from her compatriot in no time. Brand had to slow down a bit after a lightning-fast start and was already fifteen seconds behind after the opening lap. It was then another fifteen seconds of waiting for Aniek van Alphen, Manon Bakker and Inge van der Heijden, the provisional numbers three, four and five, to pass after ten minutes of slogging.
Today, just like in Niel, there appeared to be no defense against Alvarado. The 25-year-old rider radiated enormous power and could enjoy herself to her heart’s content during the technical passages. In the second lap she more than doubled her lead over Brand, quickly increasing the difference to more than forty seconds. This turned out to be an unbridgeable gap for first pursuer Brand, although she managed to recover somewhat after a poor second round.
The difference between the two Dutch cyclo-cross toppers continued to fluctuate around three-quarters of a minute in the subsequent laps, but Alvarado’s victory was never in danger at any time. Zoe Bäckstedt, meanwhile, was in third place. The still only 19-year-old British woman was involved in an interesting battle for the last podium spot with Marion Norbert-Riberolle. In the meantime, Alvarado was still fierce and soloed impressively to her third victory of the season.
photo: Cor Vos
Finally another goal for Alvarado in the World Cup
Alvarado had plenty of time in the final straight line to enjoy her first World Cup victory since January 24, 2021. Then the Dutch woman was the best in the Overijse World Cup cross. Brand was also spared from bad luck in the final lap and managed to brighten her return to the field with a second place. Third place, after a very strong cross, went to Bäckstedt.
Cyclocross World Cup Dendermonde
Elite women results
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) – in 55m45s
Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) – at 37s
Zoe Bäckstedt (Canyon//SRAM) – at 1m35s
4. Marion Norbert-Riberolle (Crelan-Corendon) – at 2m01s
5. Manon Bakker (Crelan-Corendon) – at 2m11s
6. Kristýna Zemanová (Brilon Racing Team MB) – at 2m22s
7. Aniek van Alphen (Cyclocross Reds) – at 2m27s
8. Laura Verdonschot (De Ceuster-Bonache CT) – at 2m43s
9. Sanne Cant (Crelan-Corendon) – at 2m47s
10. Alicia Franck (De Ceuster-Bonache CT) – at 2m57s