Cyclocross

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado wins European cyclocross championships

World champion and Dutch national champion takes sprint victory over Annemarie Worst.

Reining world champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the European championships in Hertogenbosch from a two-up sprint Saturday.

Del Carmen Alvarado led home an all-Dutch podium, beating Annemarie Worst in the final kick to the line, with Lucinda Brand 22 seconds behind them in third.

“It was a hard-fought victory today,” Alvarado said. “So far my toughest race of the season, even though I haven’t ridden that much yet… I tried to ride away a few times, but that didn’t work. Then it is important to keep putting pressure on, to develop a fast pace in order to tire the competition. I think that worked out well.”

Wost and Alvarado had gone away after around 15 minutes of racing on the mostly-flat, sandy course in the Netherlands. Brand was able to bridge up to the lead pair shortly after they went clear, only to drop back again before persevering and regaining contact ahead of the final lap.

Going into the last lap, Alvarado, Brand and Worst were together, with a group of Denise Betsema (Netherlands), Sanne Cant (Belgium), Ellen van Loy (Belgium), Eva Lechner (Italy) and Perrine Clauzel (France) behind them.

Brand was aggressive through the final lap, but that proved her undoing as she got caught up attacking in a sandy section, letting Alvarado counter. Worst bridged across to Alvarado and hung on to the charging 22-year-old, and the pair came into the final section together. Although Alvarado led out the sprint, she was able to easily get the gap on Worst and went on to take the victory.

“It was a mega-long sprint,” Alvarado said. “From the moment we got out of the forest, it was all-out sprinting to the finish line. Almost a kilometer I think. Then I think that the best wins at the end, which is great. After the Dutch and world champion jersey, I now finally have this one. ”