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Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took another win at Superprestige Merksplas
Superprestige Merksplas: Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado wins again to extend overall lead
Lucinda Brand second after tough battle in second race back from injury
- Dates 18 Nov
- Race Length 0 kms
- Start Hoogstraten
- Finish Hoogstraten
- Race Category Elite Women
Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took her third cyclo-cross victory in a row on Saturday, winning the Merksplas round of the Superprestige with a strong ride after being pushed hard by Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions).
After winning both the Superprestige and World Cup rounds last weekend, Alvarado is clearly on a winning streak, and extends her overall lead in the Superprestige rankings.
Lucinda Brand started the race impressively in only her second event back from injury and led for the first lap, but a trio of errors saw her cede the lead to Alvarado. Despite chasing hard, she couldn’t quite close the gap and settled for second.
The battle for third came down to a final-lap head-to-head between Marion Norbert Riberolle (Crelan-Corendon) and Annemarie Worst (Cyclocross Reds), with Norbert Riberolle eventually proving strong enough to ride away from Worst and take the final spot on the podium.
Raced in wet weather, the course was very muddy and full of challenging ruts which saw several riders crash or otherwise experience problems on the Merksplas course.
"It was a really hard race, not only about the weather conditions but also about the race itself with the riders," Alvarado said at the finish. "I can be really happy about this victory because I fought hard for it. I'm happy with that one."
Brand starts strong but consistency pays off for Alvarado
Inge van der Heijden and Lucinda Brand started the race with the most impetus, setting the pace on the front as the bunch entered the course from the cobbled start. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado was briefly a few riders down the order, and Brand soon took advantage of this, putting in an attacking ride to claim the lead spot in the opening lap.
Behind Brand, Alvarado dug in to rejoin Van der Heijden with Annemarie Worst, with Alvarado putting in most of the effort to chase Brand. At the end of the first lap, Brand had a six-second advantage on Alvarado, with Worst another nine seconds down.
A descending error for Brand on the second lap allowed Alvarado to catch her, and she took only a few minutes to go round the Baloise Trek Lions rider and take up the lead, extending a gap thanks to another small error for Brand.
The errors seemed to briefly shake Brand and she lost some momentum, allowing Alvarado to pull out a 15 second gap, but on the third lap Brand seemed to find her rhythm again and looked like she may be able to close in on Alvarado once again.
Entering the fourth and final lap, Alvarado was looking much stronger than her chasing competitor, and had a 20 second advantage, whilst Brand looked to be watching her chances of winning going away from her. Throughout the final lap, Alvarado held onto her lead, and soloed to the line to take her third successive victory, holding off Brand by 25 seconds.
This is Brand's second runner-up spot in a row, after returning from a shoulder injury that delayed the start of her 'cross season.
Almost a minute down on Brand, Norbert Riberolle and Worst battled for third, with Worst initially looking stronger but then the Belgian put in a big attack to distance her companion and secure the final spot on the podium.
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ALVARADO Ceylin del Carmen
NORBERT RIBEROLLE Marion
+ 1' 11"
+ 1' 21"
+ 1' 23"
VAN ALPHEN Aniek
+ 1' 29"
+ 1' 35"
VAN DER HEIJDEN Inge
+ 1' 45"
+ 1' 50"
+ 2' 27"
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