Alvarado also unstoppable in Merksplas
Ceylin Alvarado extended her winning run in the Telenet Superprestige ’23-’24 with a flawless ride in Merksplas. She won ahead of compatriot Lucinda Brand. Belgium's Marion Norbert-Riberolle rode to a strong third place.
Lucinda Brand had only one tactic in her first race of the Telenet Superprestige ‘23-’24: put pressure on the competition from the start. Her main competitor, Ceylin Alvarado, seemed to have missed her start. She was soon following, a few seconds behind the leader.
The heavy rain had turned the course into a large mud pool. Thus mistakes came thick and fast. Manon Bakker and Denise Betsema lost connection with the head of the race because of a crash early on.
It was clear that Lucinda Brand still had to find her race rhythm again. Her technical errors were to cost her the lead in the second lap. Alvarado did not hesitate to take advantage and she soon caught and passed Brand. Behind the two at the front, Worst and Van der Heijden followed in places three and four. The battle for places 5 to 7 was a duel between Norbert-Riberolle, Van der Heijden, Betsema and Van Alphen.
Brand tried to keep things exciting at the front and was giving it all she had. She had Alvarado in her sights for a long time, until another mistake threw a spanner in the works. Places 1 and 2 looked to be occupied. The final podium place was settled after an exciting battle between Worst and Norbert-Riberolle. The latter had broken away from her rivals on a terrain that she loves. But Norbert-Riberolle picked up pace and overtook Worst. A small slider in the final stages did not break her rhythm.
Alvarado thus rode to her third victory this season in the Telenet Superprestige. Lucinda Brand was satisfied with her second place. Norbert-Riberolle secured her second podium spot in the Telenet Superprestige ’23-’24.