Cyclocross

2021 UCI Cyclocross World Championships Results: U23 Women – Ostend, Belgium – Cyclocross Magazine

OSTEND, Belgium—On Day Two of the 2021 Cyclocross World Championships, Saturday’s rain turned into drier, cold conditions for the first race of the day.

Thankfully the wide-open U23 women’s event, led by the Dutch team, thawed the frozen conditions with a hot, exciting start of racing action for the day.

Inge van der Heijden (NED) rocketed off the front on the first lap, leaving Hungarian Kata Blanka Vas to lead the chase.

Dutch contenders Fem Van Empel and Aniek Van Alphen were content to have Vas pull them back to their teammate.

With a lap and a half to go, the four connected, and Van Empel seized her chance for rainbow stripes while Van der Heijden faded.

Fem van Empel takes the U23 Women’s title. 2021 Cyclocross World Championships, Ostend, Belgium. © Alain Vandepontseele / Cyclocross Magazine

Van Empel had a flawless final lap to win the U23 Women’s title and cement another U23 Dutch 1-2. Vas finished third.

“Of course in the sand, I could make the difference,” Van Empel said after the finish. “My coach said that the first sand after the bridge, you must be first. I pushed on the bridge, but Kata Blanka went all out.”

Van Empel eventually got to the front for the ride along the water, and accelerated. Vas went long and wide on the beach, and never regained contact, while Van Alphen struggled to keep her compatriot within reach.

The final half-lap was a drag race to the finish, but Van Alphen ran out of real estate.

“Yeah, I dreamt about this, but before the race, mentally I was very good,” Van Empel said. “I believed in myself the whole race, and in the last round, I could make it happen. It’s fantastic.”

American Maddie Munro, last year’s bronze medalist in the 2020 Worlds Junior Women’s race, finished 11th as a first-year U23, with Canadians Ruby West in 21st and Sidney McGill in 27th.

Maddie Munro had a strong second half and consistent lap times to finish 11th as a first-year U23. U23 Women, 2021 Cyclocross World Championships, Ostend, Belgium. © Alain Vandepontseele / Cyclocross Magazine

While Van der Heijden had the fastest lap of the race, a blistering 8:52 first lap, Van Empel closed the race with the fastest final lap at 9:12.

Fem van Empel takes the U23 Women’s title. 2021 Cyclocross World Championships, Ostend, Belgium. © Alain Vandepontseele / Cyclocross Magazine

Check back soon for more photos and coverage from Ostend.

Follow all our 2021 UCI Cyclocross World Championships coverage from Ostend, Belgium here.

Rank BIB Last Name First Name Country Age Result
1 10 VAN EMPEL Fem NED 19 0:36:59
2 8 VAN ALPHEN Aniek NED 22 0:37:02
3 30 VAS Kata Blanka HUN 20 0:37:08
4 6 VAN DER HEIJDEN Inge NED 22 0:37:26
5 12 BARONI Francesca ITA 22 0:37:53
6 5 PIETERSE Puck NED 19 0:37:55
7 7 BAKKER Manon NED 22 0:38:03
8 19 KAY Anna GBR 22 0:38:09
9 22 TRUYEN Marthe BEL 22 0:38:52
10 1 NORBERT RIBEROLLE Marion FRA 22 0:39:10
11 16 MUNRO Madigan USA 19 0:39:22
12 39 BOHÉ Caroline DEN 22 0:39:24
13 20 HARNDEN Harriet GBR 20 0:39:33
14 2 MORICHON Anaïs FRA 22 0:39:38
15 14 REALINI Gaia ITA 20 0:39:54
16 23 CRABBÉ Kiona BEL 20 0:40:12
17 4 DURAFFOURG Lauriane FRA 19 0:40:15
18 24 DE WILDE Julie BEL 19 0:40:32
19 3 FOUQUENET Amandine FRA 20 0:40:36
20 26 PEETERS Jinse BEL 22 0:40:43
21 28 WEST Ruby CAN 22 0:40:46
22 21 NELSON Josie GBR 19 0:41:27
23 15 KRÄHEMANN Lara SUI 22 0:41:41
24 31 VANÍČKOVÁ Tereza CZE 21 0:42:02
25 11 MEISTROK Susanne NED 22 0:42:41
26 25 BROUWERS Julie BEL 19 0:42:55
27 29 MCGILL Sidney CAN 22 0:42:58
28 13 CASASOLA Sara ITA 22 0:43:10
29 27 ZWAENEPOEL Tessa BEL 20 0:43:24
30 17 RODRIGUEZ REVERT Sofia ESP 22 0:43:29
31 40 PEDERSEN Sofie DEN 20 0:43:45
32 34 WLODARCZYK Dominika POL 20 0:44:28
33 41 BARTHELS Maïté LUX 20 0:44:28
34 38 ZAWIERTA Patrycja POL 19 0:46:01
35 37 ZAWIERTA Magdalena POL 19
36 35 ZIEBA Julia POL 19
9 VAN ANROOIJ Shirin NED 19 DNF