Pieterse wins her first World Cup race of the season in Gavere

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Pieterse wins her first World Cup race of the season in Gavere

Puck Pieterse was the strongest in the Gavere mud. The Dutch champion went on the attack in the very first lap and succeeded in holding off Fem van Empel and Ceylin Alvarado. It is Pieterse’s first World Cup win of the season.

As she so often does, Marie Schreiber (Team SD Worx) got off to a great start in Gavere. The rider from Luxembourg led the pack with Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Fem van Empel (Team Jumbo-Visma) in her wake. Pieterse soon took over command and quickly developed a small lead over her rivals.

Halfway through the first lap she made two mistakes which allowed Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) to catch up with her. In the chase, Van Empel and Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) joined forces. At the end of the first lap, they crossed the finish line 15 seconds behind the leaders.

After several mistakes by Alvarado, suddenly Pieterse was alone in front in the second lap. However, World Cup leader Alvarado was not a spent force and she continued on just seconds behind Pieterse. Not much later, the chasing duo broke apart. World champion Van Empel had dropped Brand, but she was still looking at a half-minute gap to Pieterse.

Van Empel got better and better as the race went on and seemed to be catching Ceylin Alvarado who was losing ground on Pieterse. Entering the final lap, the difference between Van Empel and Alvarado was just 5 seconds. Alvarado made a mistake, allowing Van Empel to catch up. The world champion did not hesitate for a second and immediately took off leaving the World Cup leader behind. And so the three podium places were secured. Pieterse took her first World Cup victory of the season in Gavere with a 28-second lead over Fem van Empel.