A triumph in the X2O Trophy of Baal has given Fem van Empel the perfect start to her career with Team Jumbo-Visma, and a perfect start for Reserve and it's first tubular wheelset: the 36|39. On New Year's Day, the Dutch rider launched an early attack and maintained the lead to come across the finish line without any of her competitors in sight.
Before the start, Van Empel, who was wearing the jersey of the European champion, expressed her happiness at riding the first cross for the yellow-and-black brigade. "I had been looking forward to riding with this top team for a long time”, she said.
Van Empel never faced any threat to her significant lead despite the pursuit's frantic efforts. The passages on and around the steep Balenberg were right up her alley. She navigated the challenging, winding course in style.
"Above all, I enjoyed myself”, the 20-year-old said immediately after her superior victory. "Whenever I take a break, I usually need some time to find the rhythm again. I would have preferred to battle with someone to get more sharpness, but I had to make it entertaining myself. I was a little nervous, but I never had to give my all. For the upcoming races, this triumph does boost confidence."
Despite being able to pursue the overall victory in the X2O Badkamers Trophy, Van Empel must make decisions: "I'm still young, so I can't do all the races. The focus is mainly on the World Cup standings. I will, of course, enter the road season in addition to that. Considering my lack of experience, I don't yet have serious goals in that area. Time will tell. Of course, I'm looking forward to it."
For the Dutchwoman, it is her first win on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma. Van Empel had previously won 10 races this cross-season. More on the secret Reserve tubular wheelset to come.