Van Empel goes 9 from 9 this cyclocross season with another win at Boom

Fem van Empel, the world champion, emerged victorious in the Superprestige Boom, extending her unbeaten streak this season. Despite her initial uncertainty about the race, she executed a flawless performance. “Before the start, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I lacked focus and made some errors in the first lap,” Van Empel admitted in a post-race interview. However, a minor crash early in the race served as a wake-up call, leading her to a dominant solo victory, finishing over a minute ahead of her closest competitor.

Puck Pieterse, who finished second, acknowledged the strength of Van Empel’s performance. “Fem is really flying this season, and that’s evident from today’s race,” Pieterse said in a post-race interview. Despite the disappointment, Pieterse remains optimistic about closing the gap to Van Empel, emphasising her determination to continue working hard and improving.

Pieterse also reflected on the absence of other strong competitors like Lucinda Brand and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, wondering how their presence might have altered the race dynamics. Nevertheless, she found value in the race, using the opportunity to experiment with new lines and strategies.

The Superprestige Boom saw a strong field of participants, although notable absences included Brand, focusing on the World Cup in Flamanville, and Alvarado, sidelined due to illness. The race unfolded with Pieterse initially taking the lead, but a series of slips allowed Van Empel to catch up and eventually take the lead. From there, Van Empel extended her advantage, demonstrating her impressive form and skill.

In the end, Van Empel secured her ninth victory of the season, with Pieterse finishing second and Annemarie Worst clinching third place after a close battle with Inge van der Heijden. Worst’s performance also earned her the lead in the overall Superprestige standings.

2023 Superprestige Boom Women result

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Main photo credit: Cor Vos

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