Fem van Empel has won the sixth round of the Superprestige championship in the Belgian province of Limburg. The 21-year-old rider of Jumbo-Visma proved too strong for the competition at Heusden-Zolder.
The former F1 circuit at Heusden-Zolder provided a fast track for the riders on Wednesday afternoon. Van Empel made an energetic start and the reigning European and World Champion opened up a gap on her rival Alvarado. On the third lap, the 21-year-old tried to break away, but a crash on a descent halfway through the race forced her to chase.
“There are a lot of small potholes on the descent. My front wheel went into one of them, and I crashed”, Van Empel said afterwards. “I didn’t suffer too much damage and was able to continue. Luckily, I had a target before me, but I still had to get back into the rhythm.”
Van Empel caught up and the final lap saw a thrilling duel between Van Empel and Alvarado. Van Empel fought hard to the very end and the race was decided in a sprint, with Van Empel proving the strongest.
“I tried to force Alvarado into first position before we hit the asphalt. It was a risk to make it a sprint because Alvarado is also fast. Fortunately, it worked out well. I wanted to do well today, and I think Alvarado and I had a great battle.”
The result marks an incredible twelfth victory in thirteen races for Van Empel.