Lorena Wiebes started her 2022/23 cyclocross season at Nacht van Woerden (finishing 15th) but Friday’s race in Niel was her first test against a stacked field of cyclocross stars. The Team DSM rider has raced plenty of cyclocross in the youth categories, but particularly since leaving Parkhotel Valkenburg in 2020 the cross appearances have been few and far between. Wiebes finished 22nd in Niel, more than 6 minutes behind the winner Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado.
Starting near the back due to her relatively fewer UCI cyclocross points giving her a low grid position, we saw Wiebes sprinting down the side of the pack early on. She was caught up in the crash between the pair of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB riders Zoe Backstedt and Clara Honsinger, where Wiebes was held up rather than going down.
“This was a good workout. It was heavy. I had to get in there for a while after the start, then it went better. I definitely think it was good training, also to keep my technique up, for example. It all went well today, thankfully. I’m glad I wasn’t taken off the course [by being lapped]. Luckily I was just fast enough. I am happy.”Lorena Wiebes
After the race, Wiebes hinted that she might be around to race the next race in the X2O Badkamers Trophy in Kortrijk.