Van Empel wins the Hoogerheide World Cup in a sprint

Cyclocross 28/01/24 14:44 Migue A.

Van Empel wins the Hoogerheide World Cup. The rainbow had to deal with a combative Brand and the reborn Vas, who once again showed her best level a week before the World Championship. The three maintained a pulse until the final sprint on a disastrous day for Pieterse and Alvarado.

The last race of the 2024 Cyclocross World Cup started without incident under the cold sun of Hoogerheide. Schreiber showed off her usual skill at the start and emerged as the first leader of the day, although the honor of leading the race lasted only a moment: first Brand and then Van Empel took over at the front.

Van Empel set a high pace from the start that only found a match in Brand. Both riders formed a successful alliance that allowed them to break away from the rest. The rainbow opened the track until completing the first lap, at which point Brand replaced her compatriot. The effort of Pieterse -who had started worse than expected- found reward and she started the second lap on the wheel of the two leaders.

Behind, Alvarado and Vas stood out among the pursuers and were able to catch the newly formed leading trio.

Alvarado fell behind and was the first casualty of the group. A truce was established in which no one wanted to push too hard; a moment to analyze the situation, calculate the possibilities and plot the strategy to follow. The vigilance among the four leaders spurred on a Schreiber who managed to catch them and overtook them without hesitation.

Schreiber shook things up, even though the others ignored her and let her pull. The champion of the Grand Duchy took advantage to gain meters, although shortly after Brand shattered the Luxembourg's dream. The Dutchwoman continued to pound the pedals, while doubts remained among the pursuers.

Even so, Van Empel changed the pace and easily caught the breakaway. The rainbow raised the stakes with a fierce pedaling that seemed to be a definitive attack, although Brand's determination kept her at a still threatening distance. Pieterse, Vas and Schreiber crossed the next finish line 7 seconds behind the leaders, while Brand ended up catching Van Empel.

The Van Empel-Brand duel continued without either of the two managing to overcome their rival. The chasing group gradually dissolved: Schreiber held her own but lost steam, Pieterse sank to show that today was not her day and Vas tried to catch the leading pair. The Hungarian clawed back meters until she reached the wheels of the breakaways.

The trio formed shortly before the start of the last lap. The victory was going to be hard-fought and the battle promised to be fierce. Van Empel was the first to try with a change of pace that, although it did open a gap, was insufficient to break Brand and Vas, who caught her shortly after.

Brand took the lead. The riders pedaled in unison without showing any differences. The speed visibly increased. Vas moved to the front before the stairs, where Van Empel returned to the lead. Final sprint. Van Empel made good on her reputation as a favorite in sprint finishes, she started first and reached the finish line to sign the fifth victory of the season in the competition.

The positive note was for Blanka Vas, who found her best version again after the collarbone fracture she suffered in October. Brand -new champion of the Netherlands- had to settle for third place. 

Alvarado and Pieterse had fairly discreet performances less than a week before the main event of the season: the Tabor World Championship.


Elite Women's Results - CX World Cup Hoogerheide

  1. Fem Van Empel 46'48"
  2. Blanka Vas +1"
  3. Lucinda Brand +10"
  4. Zoe Backstedt +24"
  5. Marie Schreiber +37"
  6. Laura Verdonschot +1'02"
  7. Sanne Cant +1'12"
  8. Puck Pieterse +1'14"7
  9. Kristyna Zemanova +1'18"
  10. Isabella Holmgrem +1'22"



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Van Empel gana al esprint la Copa del Mundo de Hoogerheide


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Van Empel remporte au sprint la Coupe du Monde de Hoogerheide


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Van Empel vence no sprint a Copa do Mundo de Hoogerheide