Van Empel passes final test for world championship with flying colours
Fem van Empel has gained confidence in her last test before the world championship cyclocross. After her victory in Hamme, the Dutchwoman also proved to be the strongest in Hoogerheide. On her home track, she held off the last remaining competitors on the final lap.
The Hoogerheide course is holy ground for Van Empel. It was there that the 21-year-old Visma | Lease a Bike rider soloed to her first world cross-country title in 2023. Van Empel is hoping to repeat the feat in the Czech town of Tabor next weekend.
Van Empel got off to a flying start. Together with Lucinda Brand, she rode in the lead throughout the race. Hungarian Blanka Vas joined them in the final stages. On the final stair section, Van Empel set a fast pace uphill and rocketed across the line, leaving the competition empty-handed.
"This gives me a lot of confidence for next week", Van Empel said. "I felt good today on a course I have fond memories of. It was fantastic to come back here in the rainbow jersey. The competition was also solid today. We had a good fight. On the last lap, I had a little bit of power left and was able to accelerate. This gives me confidence for next weekend."
"This gives me a lot of confidence"
Van Empel hopes to crown her fantastic cyclocross season in the Czech Republic. "I have worked hard this season. The results have been great, with seventeen cyclocross wins. The most important race is next week. I am aiming for a second world title. I'm confident in my abilities, so I'm attending the world championships in good spirits. Today's good performance has certainly contributed to that."