Thrilling battle among the Women Elite in Hulst
The anticipation was palpable as the renowned vestigingscross in Hulst hosted the 11th round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The Dutch stars geared up for an epic showdown in this prestigious round, promising an exhilarating spectacle with all the top contenders vying for supremacy.
Puck Pieterse dominates early, setting the stage for intense competition
As the race kicked off, the crowd of 22,000 witnessed Marie Schreiber (Team SD Worx) taking the lead, while Fleur Moors (Baloise Trek Lions) faced a challenging comeback due to chain problems. Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck), the woman in form, quickly seized control, navigating the slippery terrain with finesse. With a slight lead over the pursuers, including Fem Van Empel (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions), Pieterse showcased her prowess by effortlessly clearing obstacles and extending her advantage. The first lap set the tone for an intense battle, with Pieterse holding a 9-second lead over Van Empel and Brand.
Pieterse secures victory in a nail-biting finish
As the second lap unfolded, Puck Pieterse maintained her lead, now standing at 10 seconds. A captivating duel emerged between Van Empel and Pieterse, with Brand making a determined comeback. Meanwhile, Ceylin Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) showed her strength, joining the pursuit and setting the stage for a thrilling climax. By the third lap, Pieterse's lead extended to 16 seconds, with Alvarado leading the chase. Van Empel faced a setback, allowing the trio of Alvarado, Brand, and Pieterse to dominate the race. The final lap witnessed an electrifying sprint to the finish, with Pieterse ultimately securing a well-deserved victory. The podium was completed by Alvarado and Brand, delivering a spectacular conclusion to the 11th round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Hulst.