Fem van Empel will be joining Jumbo Visma on 1st January 2023, somewhat belatedly after they tried to sign her back in June 2022. The 20-year-old, who can count on teammate Marianne Vos as one of her biggest fans, will begin at Baal in the X2O Trophy on New Year’s Day. The Dutch rider has had a standout season but her final races for Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal are now marked.
Her new team Jumbo Visma has announced her immediate calendar with which she will begin her time with the team. After Baal, Van Empel will race Zonhoven (World Cup – 8th Jan), Dutch National Championships (15th Jan), Benidorm (World Cup – 22nd Jan), Besancon (World Cup – 29th Jan) and Hoogerheide (World Cup – 4th Feb).
Van Empel has the most victories so far this cyclocross season with 10, although Puck Pieterse is on a major charge to go further than that. Her victories in the 2022/23 season have come at Kruibeke, Beringen, Koppenberg, Waterloo, Fayetteville, Tabor, Massmechelen, Antwerp and Dublin. 6 of those are World Cup races no less. Van Empel also took the European Championships in a tough race at Namur.
We should see the Dutch rider start again on Gavere on Boxing Day. She suffered a heavy crash at Val di Sole in the World Cup race last weekend. Whilst she didn’t suffer any serious injuries, she does have large bruise on her left leg and also fluid in both knees. The current outlook is good for her to race, however.