Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado of Alpecin-Deceuninck showcased her exceptional form, winning the Merksplas Superprestige race, marking her third consecutive cyclocross victory. Lucinda Brand of Baloise Trek Lions, continuing her comeback trail, faced challenges in the adverse weather conditions, finishing 26 seconds behind Alvarado.
Marion Norbert Riberolle of Crelan-Corendon, after a tough battle with Annemarie Worst of Cyclocross Reds, secured third place, finishing 52 seconds behind. Alvarado, reflecting on her victory, acknowledged the difficulties posed by both the weather and the competition. She expressed satisfaction with her hard-fought win, highlighting her resilience throughout the race.
The race began at a rapid pace, with Brand initially leading and Alvarado trailing six seconds after the first lap. However, Alvarado closed the gap and took the lead following Brand’s struggles on a technical descent. From there, Alvarado extended her lead to 15 seconds, maintaining control despite Brand’s attempts to close in during the third lap. Alvarado’s final lap acceleration sealed her victory.
Marion Norbert Riberolle’s journey to third place was a testament to her tenacity, overcoming a mediocre start and finding motivation to surpass Annemarie Worst. Norbert Riberolle praised her teammate Sanne Cant for guiding her through the technical course, attributing her improved performance to their collaboration.
Brand, while disappointed with her errors, remained focused on refining her technique and looking forward to upcoming races. She highlighted the tricky forest sections of the Merksplas course, emphasising the need to maintain concentration and avoid getting stuck in challenging moments.
Alvarado, despite feeling unwell during the race, managed to close the early gap created by Brand and eventually overtook her. She admitted to needing recovery time in the third lap but was ultimately able to extend her lead and secure the win. Alvarado also mentioned that her running ability, which had not been a specific focus of her training, naturally improved with her overall condition.
The race saw a duel between Alvarado and Brand, with Brand initially leading but Alvarado overtaking her in the second lap. Brand reduced the gap in the third round, but a fall cost her time, allowing Alvarado to increase her lead. In the final lap, Alvarado’s victory was secure, with Brand comfortably in second place. Marion Norbert-Riberolle’s strong finish overtook Annemarie Worst, rounding out the podium.
2023 Superprestige Merksplas Women result
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