Brand pushes Van Empel all the way to the line in Herentals

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Fem Van Empel, the reigning world champion from Jumbo-Visma, has demonstrated remarkable resilience and skill in the X2O Trofee cyclocross series. Despite facing physical setbacks, she secured another victory in Herentals, marking her tenth consecutive win this season. Van Empel acknowledged the strength of her rival Lucinda Brand, stating, “Brand was really strong today. She never stops and never gives up.” Van Empel initiated a long sprint to the finish, a strategy she admits isn’t her strongest, yet it paid off with a satisfying win.

This latest triumph at Herentals further cements Van Empel’s position as the dominant leader in the X2O Trofee standings. She expressed satisfaction with the extra seconds gained, adding, “There are a few more races on the calendar in the new year. Then I’ll go for it again.”

Van Empel’s journey to this point, however, hasn’t been without its challenges. She arrived at the start of the X2O Trofee in Herentals bearing injuries from a fall during a training camp in Spain. She injured her right knee and arm and also caught a cold, which she described as a triple setback. “The beginning of the stage was good, but I came back injured. That’s less ideal,” Van Empel reflected.

Despite the pain, Van Empel decided to participate in Herentals to gauge her ability to compete in the upcoming World Cup race in Namur. She stated, “I’m happy if I can stay upright and have as little pain as possible.”

However, after assessing her condition following her efforts in Herentals, the team decided that Van Empel would not participate in the Namur race. Instead, she will focus on recovering and preparing for the rest of her season. Despite the setbacks, Van Empel remains a formidable force in women’s cyclocross, with her sights set on continued success in the X2O Trofee series and beyond.

X2O Badkamers Herentals Women result

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