Dutch cross star Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado earned her third career Superprestige series title on Saturday after the final round, the Noordzeecross in Middelkerke on a muddy course. Alvarado now has three Superprestige series, one World Cup (this season’s) and one X2O Badkamers Trofee. Lucinda Brand romped to her fifth victory of 2023-2024.
After winning three rounds in a row Alvarado came into Middelkerke with a six-point lead on Annemarie Worst. It was Alvarado’s final race of the season, her back worrying her as the winter stretched out.
Alvarado took the hole shot on Lap 1 but she fell while remounting. Lucinda Brand assumed the lead. Alvarado and Worst were her closest pursuers, Leonie Bentveld and Laura Verdonschot in Positions 4 and 5. Brand’s 25-second gap was significant after one circuit of the mucky 2.775-km course.
Alvarado put a length of mud between her and Worst going into Lap 2 of 5, Bentveld and Verdonschot continuing to chase the podium. The riders started to have problems on the whoops section.
On Lap 3, Verdonschot passed Worst, closed on Alvarado, and then powered by the series leader. Worst crashed at the start of the sand section, allowing Bentveld to close in.
The penultimate lap saw Marion Norbert Riberolle join Bentveld and Worst and then move through them. Brand, Verdonschot and Alvarado carried on with the gaps stabilized. Brand had almost a minute when she head the bell.
Brand had plenty of time to celebrate. She has finished off the podium only thrice this season.
2023-2024 Superprestige, Round 8, Middelkerke
1) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) 46:01
2) Laura Verdonschot (Belgium/De Ceuster-Bonache) +1:15
3) Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Deceuninck) +1:41