Cyclocross World Cup: Shirin van Anrooij pips Fem van Empel

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Nothing seemed to stop Fem van Empel at the Cyclocross World Cup, but Shirin van Anrooij didn’t get the memo.

Van Anrooij cruised through the final sand stage, and Van Empel didn’t close things out any easier than before in Sunday’s World Cup break in Beekse Bergen.

Van Anrooij, the best young rider in the Tour de France Femmes, hit the final highway stage to dislodge Van Empel to take his first World Cup victory. Puck Pieterse took third.

“I didn’t make any mistakes and ran full throttle in the last lap,” said Van Anrooij. “I’ve never won a major race in cyclocross before, so to win the World Cup is amazing. I dreamed of getting on the podium this season, and now I won. This is very important for me to gain more confidence. That’s a big boost for next week. “

Van Anrooij attacked reaching the shoulder of the bell with the race still badly affected in Beekse Bergen, and was determined to make things difficult.

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Van Empel and Puck Pieterse followed a few seconds later, with Marianne Vos and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado chasing a few seconds behind. It was a Dutch No. 5 duel in the last game of the run.

Van Empel started her fifth World Cup race on Sunday with a huge lead in the standings, and has a chance to challenge Katie Compton and Daphny van den Brand as the only female riders to win the title. five consecutive World Cups.

Van Empel, who has won eight of his first nine races this season, has been on everyone’s radar.

Van Anrooij played patiently and opened up a five-second gap near the midpoint with a race-winning attack in the final lap, and it came down to who could bring power to the technical line. and barriers to completion.

“It was nice to win again, my reaction was a bit too late. I was expecting a sprint, and we were very close at the end,” said Van Empel. “Shirin was very fast in the last lap, I’m happy with second.”

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Van Empel may not have won, but he easily maintained his lead in the World Cup.

The attack was well timed

Shirin van Anrooij won her first World Cup on Sunday. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Sunday’s race in Beekse Bergen was the first time the World Cup was contested on the Dutch course. A similar layout was used at the 2013 Dutch National Championships, but with a mix of grass, tight stands, sand and rough terrain, along with man-made obstacles, it proved a serious injury for the The fifth round in 2022 is the way. – World Cup 23.

As expected for the Netherlands, there was almost no significant increase. Under cold temperatures, clear skies, and little wind, the technical, fast, extremely dry track provided a test of course and the ability to make short accelerations.

In the middle of the six races, Van Empel, and Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Puck Pieterse and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado opened a small gap to the pursuers.

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Rising star Pieterse pushed hard to open a gap, with Carmen Alvarado marking Van Empel’s wheel. There were six groups still within 10 seconds of each other in the two rounds to compete.

The recent European U23 champion pushed to the front on lap 4, with Van Empel holding back. Carmen Alvarado crossed her front tire in a tight right-hander run and lost a few places, leaving Van Empel alone to chase Pieterse. Clara Honsinger hung on for 15th place by a minute and a half.

Van Empel closed the gap on Pieterse going into the final two laps, with Van Anrooij, the Tour de France Femmes’ best young rider, in third place, and Marianne Vos and Carmen Alvarado in hot pursuit. the fourth and fifth at 15 seconds.

Van Anrooij saved his best back for last, and was powerful at the bell to take his slender lead to the line for victory.


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