Van Empel had won the first four cyclocross races of the World Cup series and remains the leader in the standings. For a long time, it also seemed to control the race in Hilvarenbeek. The rider, who moves from Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal to Jumbo-Visma on January 1, made the best start and then took the lead with Pieterse and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, teammates at Alpecin-Deceuninck. The trio got rid of riders like world champion Marianne Vos and Lucinda Brand, returning from a hand injury.
Alvarado lost the link after a slide and saw Van Anrooij, who didn’t make a good start, pass on the penultimate lap. At the start of the last round, the Zeelander, second behind Pieterse at the U23 Worlds, even suddenly took the lead. She was the first to cross the finish line with both in her wheel.
More and more
She had taken the advice of her team manager, former motocross rider Sven Nys. “They shouted at me that I had to go up and back up immediately. The first time I didn’t succeed and I fell behind again. But the second time I immediately had a hole,” said Van Anrooij after his greatest success at Date. “I dreamed of a place on the podium before.”
On the final lap, “don’t make mistakes” was his motto. “I pushed full throttle, like I did in the first part of the race. I had a tough start, I had to chase a long time. This victory means a huge boost. It’s important for me to gain more confidence.”
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”