Fem van Empel succeeds herself as world champion after an impressive solo, Laura Verdonschot comes in fifth

Fem van Empel succeeds herself as world champion after an impressive solo, Laura Verdonschot comes in fifth
Fem van Empel succeeds herself as world champion after an impressive solo, Laura Verdonschot comes in fifth

The Hungarian outsider Blanka Kata Vas had to forfeit due to illness and so on paper it would be a battle between the Dutch women in Tabor. Fem van Empel, Lucinda Brand, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Puck Pieterse were the four favorites for the world title and it was in that order that they entered the field. Laura Verdonschot also had a good start in sixth position, Sanne Cant had a poorer start and got away around position fifteen.

Van Empel did not want to leave anything to chance and immediately pressed the accelerator. After just five minutes of cross, she was already a few seconds away from her compatriots. Pieterse moved to position two and also seemed to get closer when Van Empel changed bikes, but the pace of the outgoing winner was simply too high for the rest. Pieterse was joined by Brand and that was a bad sign, because at the end of the first lap the difference had already increased to sixteen seconds on the two pursuers. The fourth in the race, Alvarado, followed at 39 seconds. It was already clear to the Belgians that a medal was not an option: Verdonschot finished in eighth position at 55 seconds, Cant was still a few positions further.

Pieterse found her second wind and put Brand in an opening, but threatening Van Empel was not an option. On the contrary: every time measurement added a few more seconds. Pieterse’s sixteen seconds deficit had already become 35 at the start of the third lap, Brand was another twelve seconds further. From a Belgian point of view, we were mainly looking forward to Verdonschot, who moved up places despite a flat tire and was in battle for sixth position with the Canadian Maghalie Rochette.

That battle did not last long, because Verdonschot was gaining more and more steam. Rochette had to go, the Italian Sara Casasola and the corresponding fifth place came into the sights of the Limburg woman. A few places before that, Brand passed Pieterse in search of the silver.

And Van Empel, he kept going. She made no mistakes and systematically extended her lead. Going into the last lap she had more than a minute lead over Brand and 1’20” over Pieterse. Van Empel also completed the final round flawlessly and thus succeeded herself as world champion. Silver was the highest achievable for Brand, Pieterse completed the Dutch podium. Behind Alvarado, Verdonschot had passed Casasola in the end and finished fifth. Sanne Cant had to be satisfied with fourteenth place.


1. Fem van Empel

2. Lucinda Brand + 1’20”

3. Puck Pieterse +1’54”

4. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado +2’37”

5. Laura Verdonschot +2’52”

6. Sara Casasola + 2’59”

7. Annemarie Worst +3’40”

8. Clara Honsinger +3’45”

9. Inge van der Heijden +3’49”

10. Maghalie Rochette +3’52”

Cyclocross World Championships Tabor – program for Saturday:

11:05 am: junior women
12h35: promises men
2:35 PM: elite women

Verdonschot fifth!Laura Verdonschot takes fifth place and is the first Belgian at this World Cup.

Third time silver for BrandLucinda Brand crosses the line in second place with a broad smile, Pieterse and Alvarado complete the Dutch party. Behind it, Casasola and Verdonschot ride together again.

Second world title for Van EmpelAfter less than two minutes she rode away from the competition, and now Fem van Empel conquers her second consecutive world title. And that at the age of 21.

Fifth place VerdonschotLaura Vardonschot has now overtaken Casasola and has taken fifth place. Her lead over Casasola is now a few seconds.

VerdonschotLaura Verdonschot has almost made up for her deficit and is only 4 seconds behind Casasola.

Alvarado at 4Ceylin Alvarado is in fourth place, and Casasola follows half a minute later. 12 seconds behind, in sixth place, is Laura Verdonschot. Can she still conquer that fifth place?

Last roundVan Empel starts the last round, a lap of honor for her, she has long since secured her world title. Brand crosses the line 1’03” later, Pieterse’s gap is now 1’20”.

Brand drives away from PieterseLucinda Brand makes an attempt to take second place and drives away from Pieterse, she has a 10 second lead.

1 minuteVan Empel’s lead is now 59 seconds over Brand and 1’01” over Pieterse. The podium is set, but who will get silver and who will get bronze?

Difference between 2 and 3Meanwhile, Brand is getting closer to Pieterse, she is only 6 seconds behind her.

First BelgianLaura Verdonschot is the first Belgian in 7th place, 1’50” after the lone leader.

Halfway throughVan Empel starts the penultimate lap, Pieterse crosses the line 35 seconds later and Brand 47 seconds later.

Half a minutePieterse and Brand now follow at 29 and 32 seconds from Fem van Empel. Alvarado and Casasola follow at 1’8″.

Lead increasedFem van Empel’s lead continues to grow, 17 seconds over Pieterse and 22 seconds over Brand. In the meantime, Verdonschot is approaching the top 5.

Second roundVan Empel starts the second lap with a 16 second lead over Brand, 18 over Pieterse and Alvarado only follows 39 seconds behind.

18 secondsIn the meantime, Fem van Empel has already extended her lead to 18 seconds, Brand and Pieterse are playing leapfrog for places 2 and 3.

Situation BelgiansThe first Belgian we encounter is Laura Verdonschot in 8th place, 42 seconds behind, followed by Sanne Cant in 15th place at 54 seconds.

Difference is increasingFem van Empel’s lead is increasing little by little. Pieterse and Brand follow at 8 and 11 seconds. Bakker comes behind at 20 seconds, Alvarado, Worst and Van der Heijden follow behind.

Fire pursuesLucinda Brand follows Van Empel, her gap is barely 3 seconds, Pieterse is 4 seconds behind her.


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