Van Empel sprints to tenth win of the season in Herentals

Van Empel sprints to tenth win of the season in Herentals

Fem van Empel has sprinted to her tenth win of the season in Herentals. The 21-year-old rider of Team Jumbo Visma prevailed in a thrilling final with Lucinda Brand. Van Empel remains unbeaten in the X2O Trofee competition after the third race.

In Herentals, the riders were presented with a fast track on Saturday afternoon. After two laps and some hard work on the Skiberg, the first significant differences had been made, and a duel between Van Empel and Brand seemed inevitable. Van Empel tried to get away, but Brand caught up, and the two battled it out to the line. In a neck-and-neck race, Van Empel proved to be the strongest.

The Dutchwoman had a difficult build-up to this weekend's cross programme, with a crash at the start of the week and a cold. In her own words, she struggled with her physical condition today. "Especially the big efforts were tough. I spent more time in bed than on the bike this week. Of course, you feel it. But from now on, it can only get better."

"It was nice to fight from start to finish again"

Fem van Empel

While Van Empel has often crossed the line alone this season, she had more to fear from her rivals in Herentals. "Brand was really strong today. She never stops and never gives up. I started the sprint from a distance. Such a long sprint is not the best, but I just gave it a go, and it worked well”, she said. "It was nice to fight from start to finish again.”

After three races in the X2O Trofee competition and three wins for the Jumbo Visma rider, Van Empel is the undisputed leader of the standings. "The extra seconds I gained today are a nice bonus. There are a few more races on the calendar in the new year. Then I'll go for it again."

The win at Herentals is Van Empel's tenth in a row this season. Normally, Van Empel would have started the World Cup race in Namur tomorrow (Sunday). However, after her crash and cold earlier this week and today's efforts, the team decided that Van Empel would not race tomorrow and would focus on the rest of her season.


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