Van Empel looking forward to season start and Gent-Wevelgem debut

Van Empel looking forward to season start and Gent-Wevelgem debut

Fem van Empel is looking forward to her debut at Gent-Wevelgem. After a successful cyclocross season in which the 21-year-old rider became world cyclocross champion for the second time, Sunday's Belgian classic will be her first race of the road season. Van Empel and sports director Jan Boven are looking ahead.

After a good preparation, Van Empel will make her season debut for the team at the cobbled classic. "My preparation has been perfect. I had a good training block, and I am excited to see where I am now. It will be my first time at Gent-Wevelgem, so I am a bit nervous, but most of all, I am looking forward to it."

"I'm hoping I'll be in the right position at the right time", Van Empel continues. "There are a lot of top riders at the start. I am curious to see where I am in my first race of the year, and I hope to be in the front until deep into the final."

"I am excited to see where I am now"

Fem van Empel

The two-time cyclocross world champion has been working with sports director Boven this season both in cyclocross and on the road. "Jan and I have an excellent relationship. The cooperation in cyclocross is going really well. I look forward to working with Jan on the road and learning even more from his expertise."

Boven also praises the cooperation with his pupil and looks forward to working with Van Empel on the road. "Since last year, I have had the opportunity to mentor Fem, and I have seen that she is an exceptional woman. She has already shown her talent on the road several times, and it will be great to discover together how her career will develop on the road."

"Last year, Fem rode very strongly and showed that she has a lot of talent on the road, so I assume that she will also show herself in Gent-Wevelgem", Boven continues. "She will have a free role and maybe go on a discovery tour, but she will also be our leading lady. We are curious how she will do in her first Belgian cobbled classic in a strong field.

"I'm working with a very nice group of women. It gives me a lot of morale."

Jan Boven

The 52-year-old Dutchman has just completed his first races as team leader of Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women. "It's a great adventure. It's all new for me too. The races differ from the men's, but I'm working with a very nice group of women. It gives me a lot of morale. Marianne's victory in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was very special. After a year full of setbacks in which she had to fight, it is wonderful to see her back so strong."

Linda Riedmann, Sophie von Berswordt-Wallrabe, Margaux Vigie, Lieke Nooijen, and Carlijn Achtereekte will join Van Empel in the Visma | Lease a Bike Women squad.

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