“That's actually bizarre" - Self-critical Fem van Empel shocked by her margin of victory at Superprestige Boom

It's now nine straight wins to start the 2023/24 cyclocross season for Fem van Empel after adding another win to her palmares on Saturday afternoon at Superprestige Boom.

Afterwards however, van Empel was more than a little self-critical. “The focus wasn't there, so I didn't really know how it would go,” the World Champion explained in her post-race interview. “From the first lap everything failed. I couldn't get into my pedal, I made clumsy mistakes. It had mainly changed somewhat compared to the exploration, so it was a matter of exploring. But I couldn't really make any progress in the first lap.”

“I just didn't have the focus. I think I lacked some sharpness before the start. It's good to wake up again. I am very satisfied with the rest," she continues. By the end though, van Empel was a clear winner, victorious by over a minute to her nearest challenger, Puck Pieterse. “You shouldn't just let Puck ride, so I couldn't give her too many seconds. But I tried not to rush there. In the end it worked. Then I drove near her for a while, but she made a slide. I think the gap kept getting bigger from then on. I am very happy with that.”

“That's actually bizarre," she reacts in shock when told of the eventual time-gap. "I am very satisfied with how things are going. I also work very hard for it during the week, so I'm happy that it also comes out at the weekend.”

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