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Fem van Empel keeps rolling at Superprestige opener in Overijse

World champion undefeated in the young season

The Superprestige series kicked off on Sunday with Fem van Empel continuing to roll and chalking up her third consecutive victory of the season. Reigning series champ Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado runner-up. It was van Empel’s 21st elite win.

There were a few riders in Belgium who weren’t racing the World Cup in the U.S.A. last week. Denise Betsema, Annemarie Worst and Sanne Cant were accounted for, but Puck Pieterse was absent; she’ll be back racing later in November. There were no Canadians racing on Sunday.

Fem van Empel took the hole shot on Lap 1 with Marie Schreiber and Helene Clauzel her closest pursuers and Alvarado in Position 4. Van Empel then took her leave, and Alvarado came forward to lead a quintet of chasers. Van Empel completed the first 2.77-km lap in 8:34 with Alvarado 9 seconds back and Inge van der Heijden at +0:14.

On Lap 2 of 5 the world champion continued to plow on in the lead. Van der Heijden found Alvarado’s wheel. Van Empel’s lead was 27 seconds at the end of the circuit.

Alvarado on the chase on Lap 2.

In the middle lap, Alvarado once more shook loose of the other chasers. Van der Heijden and Worst battled for the last podium spot six seconds behind Alvarado. Van Empel’s gap got up to 35 seconds.

Van Empel cruising on Lap 3.

The penultimate lap saw van der Heijden drop Worst.

Van der Heijden stood on the day’s podium.

The woman in the rainbow stripes had plenty of time to take a fresh ride on the final lap.

The next round is next Saturday in Ruddervoorde.

2023-2024 Superprestige, Overijse
1) Fem van Empel (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma 43:21
2) Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0:54
3) Inge van der Heijden (The Netherlands/Crelan-Cordendon) +1:14