Struggling Van Empel takes second place in Gavere World Cup

Struggling Van Empel takes second place in Gavere World Cup

After 11 consecutive cyclocross victories, Fem van Empel had to settle for second place in Gavere today. She struggled early in the race, and a strong finish was not enough. Puck Pieterse won the World Cup cross.

Over 15,000 fans turned out on Boxing Day for the cross in Gavere, Belgium. They saw Van Empel struggle through the first few laps of the challenging course. She fought hard, but in the end, it was not enough to win for the twelfth time in a row. Van Empel finished the race in second place.

"The race taught me a lot"

Fem van Empel

"One rider was stronger today”, said Van Empel, alluding to Pieterse's superiority. "Puck deserved this win. I could not give everything. I can't explain it. It didn't go well in the first few laps. But I came back strong, so I have mixed feelings. I lacked control on the descents. I didn't want to hurt my knee again, so I was careful. The race taught me a lot. I didn't give up and still managed to finish second. That's the big positive from today.”

Van Empel will compete in two more cross-country races this year. On 27 December, the 21-year-old will compete in Heusden-Zolder. Three days later, she will race in Hulst.

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