Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel

Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel

Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma was the best in the second race of the X20 Trofee. It was Van Empel's eighth win of the season.

Van Empel returned to competition three weeks after winning the European title. In Kortrijk, she was up against the likes of Lucinda Brand and Puck Pieterse. The reigning world champion got off to a good start, but on the second lap, she got stuck in a deep patch of mud.

The crash did not cause Van Empel any additional anxiety, and she quickly rejoined the leaders Brand and Pieterse. Brand tried to pull away from her compatriots midway through the race, but Van Empel proved too strong. The youngster closed the gap and then increased the pace. Her lead was never threatened again.

"It was a difficult track to get away from the others"

Fem van Empel

"It was a nice battle between us", Van Empel said. "It was a difficult track to get away from the others, and the wind was a significant factor. I crashed on the second lap, but I tried not to worry too much and refocus as quickly as possible. I felt good, and luckily, I got the win."

Van Empel took a short break after the European Championships in Pontchateau, which she used to train in Spain. She had a good time there, partly because of the ‘good weather’. "When you can train in the sun, it helps you mentally. I was mainly doing endurance training for the spring. I know that training is good for something."


Related updates