Fem van Empel Confirms Cyclocross Dominance with a Convincing Victory in Tábor


Dutch rider Fem van Empel asserted her current dominant position among all cyclocross racers at the Komora circuit in Tábor. Leaving no chance for her competitors, she convincingly defended her gold from last year's championship with a lead of one minute and twenty seconds. Unfortunately, none of the Czech riders finished the race. Tereza Vaníčková and Tereza Tvarůžková were withdrawn before the final lap, and Nikola Nosková retired from the race before the halfway point.

Unfortunately, just before the race, Hungarian rider Blanka Kata Vasová fell ill, possibly the only one capable of competing with the Dutch favorites. Thus, it turned into a virtually monochromatic competition. The defending champion and European champion, van Empel, wanted to leave nothing to chance. In the opening hundred meters, she showed her opponents that she came to South Bohemia for another triumph. With each pedal stroke, she distanced herself from all rivals, and it was only a matter of how large her lead would be at the finish. At the end of the first lap, she led her compatriots Brand and Pieters by 16 seconds.

The Czech trio couldn't match the top performance. Nosková realized her futility after twenty minutes of fighting, just under two laps when she stopped in the pit. For a new bike, she didn't get back on, and the other two referees didn't let the remaining two into the final lap due to a significant delay.

Behind van Empel, two pairs kept pace. First, Puck Pietresová with Lucinda Brand and further back, Ceylin Alvarado and Italian Sara Casasola. While the decision about gold was made very quickly, the fight for other medals continued. First, Pietersová began to distance her competitors, but after a crisis in the third lap, both roles reversed, and Brand clearly won the silver, stepping onto the winners' podium for the seventh time in a row at the World Championships. Van Empel secured her eighteenth victory in her twentieth start of the season.


1. van Empelová 46:19,

2. Brandová +1:20,

3. Pietersová +1:54,

4. Alvaradová (všechny Niz.) +2:37,

5. Verdonschotová (Belg.) +2:52,

6. Casasolová (It.) +2:59, ...

28. Tvarůžková,

29. Vaníčková - both lapped,

Nosková (all CZE) did not finish.