Alvarado record holder in Ruddervoorde
On the revamped course of the 38th edition of the race in Ruddervoorde, we saw a real battle of attrition in the Women Elite’s race. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado once again demonstrated her improving form. She rode to victory ahead of compatriot Annemarie Worst and Marion Norbert-Riberolle.
However, the start phase was not coloured by the riders who ultimately occupied the podium. The young Brit Zoe Bäckstedt was the first into the field. She soon lost her leading position to the Luxembourger Schreiber who we also saw make a fast start in Overijse last weekend. However, both riders soon had to pay for their fast starts.
The later winner Alvarado did not let up. Together with Annemarie Worst, she played leapfrog. Both riders apparently felt at ease on the many short climbs. Their jousting helped them to steadily build up a small lead on the rest of the field. On lap three, half-way through the race, Inge van der Heijden, Aniek van Alphen and Marion Norbert-Riberolle were following about ten seconds behind the leaders. Behind them, we saw Denise Betsema, winner last year, move up to ninth place. Manon Bakker was less fortunate and had to give up.
Alvarado, meanwhile, showed her strength and took a lead of a few seconds. A gap that Worst could not immediately close. By the start of the fourth lap, Worst had reconnected. The question was, how much strength had this taken out of her and would she now be able to hold the wheel? Alvarado showed her supremacy and rode away again without really accelerating. She looked set for her third win in Ruddervoorde.
On laps five and six, Alvarado continued to build on her lead - steadily and cautiously. Worst was riding to secure second place, followed by Norbert-Riberolle who had pulled away from the Dutch pair Van Alphen and Van der Heijden.
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado crowned herself Women Elite’s record holder with a third success in Ruddervoorde. Annemarie Worst and Marion Norbert-Riberolle accompanied her on the podium. Alvarado also did well in the general classification. Her first pursuer, Annemarie Worst, is already 3 points behind.