Two in a row for Pieterse in Diegem
Puck Pieterse was the winner of the evening cyclo-cross in Diegem. The Dutch champion left her rivals behind on the first lap and finished ahead of Ceylin Alvarado and Inge van der Heijden.
Zoe Bäckstedt (Canyon//SRAM Racing) was the first into the field in Diegem. However, it was soon Inge van der Heijden (Crelan-Corendon) who took command. Together with her compatriot Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck), she created a small gap ahead of the rest of her rivals a short time later. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) had a less good start and rode around in eleventh position.
Pieterse jumped over the bars on the first lap, giving her an advantage over Van der Heijden early in the race. Crossing the finishing line for the first time, Pieterse had a lead of six seconds over Van der Heijden and 16 seconds over Schreiber (Team SD Worx). At that point the other favourites were following 21 seconds behind.
The second lap was the signal for Alvarado to move up. The Dutch rider did her utmost and succeeded a lap later in bridging the gap to Van der Heijden. And then, at the end of lap three, she even left Van der Heijden trailing in her wake. Meanwhile, Pieterse had extended her lead to 21 seconds.
Alvarado continued trying to apply pressure, but Pieterse proved too strong. The Dutch champion finished the race with a 26-second lead over Ceylin Alvarado who, thanks to her second place, became the new leader in the classification. Inge van der Heijden was the third rider on the podium.