Fem van Empel majestic in Boom

Saturday 02 December 2023

Fem van Empel majestic in Boom

A whirlwind blew through Provincial Recreation Domain De Schorre in Boom. Fem van Empel won the fifth Telenet Superprestige round of the season. The world champion quickly blew away the opposition when she embarked on her brilliant solo on the second lap. Her compatriots Puck Pieterse and Annemarie Worst flanked her on the podium.

With temperatures around freezing, Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) was the first into the field. World champion Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) slipped off her pedal just after the start and fell a little way behind. The returning Shirin van Anrooij fared even worse. She was held up by a crash at one of the first corners and immediately had to chase. The Baloise Trek Lions star would never play a significant role.

Dutch champion Pieterse set a fast tempo and quickly built up an eight-second advantage after a stumble by Van Empel on one of the many slopes. But the world champion displayed her resilience and was able to correct her mistake within half a lap. Halfway through the second lap, she was suddenly riding all alone in the lead. Pieterse had fallen and saw the distance she was trailing behind starting to grow noticeably. Entering the third lap, the gap was already 20 seconds.

It was only halfway through the race and it seemed that the first two podium spots were already settled. The battle for place three, on the other hand, was exciting. Annemarie Worst (Cyclocross Reds), Kata Blanka Vas (Team SD Worx) and Inge van der Heijden (Crelan - Corendon) rode close together throughout the entire race. However, the Hungarian Vas made too many mistakes on the penultimate lap, putting paid to any thoughts of standing on the podium.

Fem van Empel in the meantime had built up a big lead. The world champion took victory with a 1’04” advantage over Puck Pieterse. Annemarie Worst ultimately won the battle for third place. Due to the absence of Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, she took over the leader position in the general classification.