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On-fire Alvarado triumphs over Pieterse at World Cup in France

Maghalie Rochette 14th and Sidney McGill 28th

It’s been a heck of a weekend for Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. On Saturday she increased her lead in the Superprestige series with a victory and then she repeated the feat in Sunday’s fourth round of the 2023-2024 UCI Cyclocross World Cup on a new course in Troyes, France. Alvarado traded blows with Puck Pieterse in the early laps before pulling clear in Lap 4 of 6. Maghalie Rochette came 14th and Sidney McGill, riding her first European race of the season, was 28th.

Rochette finishes 14th.

The Situation Before Sunday

After three rounds, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado led the absent Fem van Empel by 15 points. Rochette was ninth in the standings, having missed the Maasmechelen round.

Pieterse was back in only her second race of the season. Rochette started in the second row. Leonie Bentveld grabbed the hole shot on Lap 1. The first off-camber section created a logjam. Pieterse powered to the front, with Alvarado chasing. Bentveld was in Position 3. Midway through the lap Rochette was 18th and Sydney McGill was 21st. Pieterse and Alvarado finished the first lap in 8:23, nine seconds ahead of Bentveld.

Rochette (right) and Lucinda Brand on Lap 1.

On Lap 2, first Annemarie Worst and then Sara Casasola moved into third place as Pieterse and Alvarado continued their scrap. Pieterse tried to drop the World Cup leader to no avail.

Pieterse and Alvarado finish Lap 2 together.

Pieterse took a gap at the beginning of Lap 3 of 6. The spirited podium battle continued in the eight-strong chase group, Marie Schreiber forging her way ahead the others. Pieterse rode the planks while Alvarado ran them. Pieterse had a seven-second gap at the line. Rochette was 16th and McGill 26th.

Alvarado drew Pieterse closer at the start of Lap 4. When Alvarado made contact, she attacked her compatriot and pried out a good gap. Brand and Casasola distinguished themselves from the others in the podium contest. Alvarado had seven seconds going into the next lap. Rochette had worked her way up to 15th, McGill was 29th.

Alvarado increased her lead on the penultimate lap to 24 seconds. Brand, Casasola and Schreiber continued their podium imbroglio, Schreiber the first to fall back.

Brand surged away from the Italian on the bell lap. Alvarado was emotional in her celebration.

The next round is next Sunday in Dublin, Ireland.

2023-2024 UCI Cyclocross World Cup, Round 4, Troyes
1) Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Deceuninck) 49:55
2) Puck Pieterse (The Netherlands/Fenix-Deceuninck) +0;21
3) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:44
14) Maghalie Rochette (Canada) +2:21
28) Sydney McGill (Canada) +4:28