Fem van Empel has rounded off a great cyclocross season by winning the Krawatencross in Lille for the second year in a row. One week after winning the world championship for the second time, the 21-year-old proved too strong for the competition. For Van Empel, it was the final race of a Grand Cru season in which she took nineteen wins from twenty-one races.
The world champion fought for the overall X2O Trophy victory in Lille. Van Empel set the pace from the start. Lucinda Brand seemed to be able to follow, but on the technical sections, Van Empel made the difference. The leader of the standings then cruised to her nineteenth victory of the season and the overall win at the X2O Trophy.
“I am delighted to be able to end my cyclocross season with a win”, Van Empel said. “After a week of relative rest, it was a bit of an adjustment at the start of the race. It was essential to keep the pace lap after lap, and I did that.”
“Somehow, it’s a shame that the cyclocross season is already over for me. It went by so quickly, but we have to focus on what’s ahead in the spring. It’s good that I can take a break now to recharge the batteries for the classics.”
Sports director Jan Boven was clearly proud of his rider’s performance. “The fact that Fem has only failed to win two cyclocross races is certainly outstanding. Fem made a lot of progress last year. She was at a very high level until the European championship, which she won. Then she crashed in training camp. That was a setback, of course. But after another training period in the sun, she was back to finish the rest of the season.”
“Now we have a short holiday followed by a high-altitude training camp. This, combined with good planning over the winter, will ensure that Fem is at a high level for the spring. Our goal is to make her a good road rider as well.”