Feb 03, 2023 at 1:39 PMUpdate: 6 minutes ago
Fem van Empel had a good start to the Cyclocross World Cup in Hoogerheide on Friday. The twenty-year-old favorite for individual gold helped the Dutch team win its first official world title in the team relay.
Van Empel, Ryan Kamp, Tibor del Grosso, Leonie Bentveld, Lauren Molengraaf and Guus van den Eijnden each drove one lap on the course in Hoogerheide. As expected, the Dutch team quickly took the lead, with an excellent first round performance from Del Grosso.
After the first lap, Van den Eijnden took over from the first driver. He extended the lead to ten seconds. The differences with the competition were small, until Van Empel took over in the fourth round.
Van Empel, who also used the team part to reconnoiter the course, extended the lead to seventeen seconds halfway through the fourth lap. At the finish line she still had thirty seconds ahead. Kamp secured the gold for the Netherlands with a strong final round.
The British team rode to a silver medal, 31 seconds behind the winners. Belgium had to settle for third place with, among others, strongholder Laurens Sweeck in the team, 33 seconds behind.
On Saturday, Van Empel will compete individually with, among others, contemporary Puck Pieterse, her main competitor in the battle for the world title. On Sunday, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert will compete for the rainbow jersey for the men.
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