Fem van Empel has won the fifth race of the Superprestige classification. In the Belgian town of Boom, the 21-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma once again proved too strong for her opponents. It is Van Empel’s ninth victory in as many races this season.
The Tomorrowland music festival grounds in Boom provided the riders with a challenging course. Empel made a few mistakes and had an unfortunate start to the race when she crashed on the opening lap. Puck Pieterse took a slight lead, which the world champion quickly closed. After a mistake by Pieterse, Van Empel took the chance to go solo. The Dutch rider increased her lead with each lap and, despite the earlier incident, eventually triumphed.
“I felt I was lacking a bit of sharpness before the start”, Van Empel said. “That showed in the mistakes I made on the first lap. So the little crash was a good wake-up call to pick myself up. I decided to stay with Pieterse for a while after closing the gap, but soon found myself alone. The following laps were flawless, and I’m happy with that.”
Van Empel remains unbeaten in this cyclocross season. “It’s bizarre. I’m thrilled with the way things are going this season. I work very hard for it every week. Not only the training is important, but also the rest and the environment. It’s nice to see all that effort rewarded at the weekend,” Van Empel concluded.