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Fem van Empel rode solo across the final three laps in Hoogerheide to win her first elite women’s title at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships.
It was an all-Dutch podium with Puck Pieterse, her main adversary of the season, finishing second and defending World Champion Lucinda Brand in third.
The classic battle between youngsters Van Empel and Pieterse developed after a wobbly start by Pieterse, but when the Dutch national champion fell in a corner with three laps to go and Van Empel then hit the after-burners to ride solo to the win. The rainbow jersey capped her 12th victory of a stunning season for the 20-year-old.
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