Ceylin Alvarado is the strongest in the Dendermonde mud

Sunday 12 November 2023

Ceylin Alvarado is the strongest in the Dendermonde mud

Ceylin Alvarado took her first win of the season in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The Dutchwoman soloed to victory on a brutal course in Dendermonde. In her comeback, Lucinda Brand crossed the line in second place.

Inge van der Heijden was the first to dive into the mud, but not much later her compatriot Lucinda Brand sped past her. Brand was making her comeback at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and visibly enjoyed it. Despite an excellent start, she was only in second place after the first lap. Ceylin Alvarado already had a 14-second lead at that moment thanks to some strong riding lines.

The muddy surface made the course in Dendermonde extremely tough. Early on in the race, the differences were already considerable. The large washboard was one of the crucial stretches on the course. Alvarado was initially faultless there, while the competition repeatedly made mistakes. Halfway through the race, it was already clear that Alvarado would ride to victory assuming she had no mechanical problems.

In the background, Zoe Backstedt tore away from the opposition, but Marionne Norbert-Riberolle wasn’t going to let that just happen at first. The Belgian increasingly found her rhythm in the race and turned up the heat on Backstedt in the battle for third place on the podium. Meanwhile, Ceylin Alvarado’s lap times showed that the Dutch rider could build in some caution.

The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider ultimately won the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup with a 37-second lead over Lucinda Brand, who enjoyed a comeback in style. Britain’s Zoe Backstedt won the battle for third place. Due to the absence of Fem van Empel, Alvarado took over the leader’s jersey in the UCI World Cup.