Fem van Empel claims World Cup title with thrilling victory over Puck Pieterse

Dutch riders fill the podium with Shirin van Anrooij in third place, while British champion Zoe Backstedt was an impressive seventh

Victory secured World Cup success for Fem van Empel
(Image credit: Luc Claessen / Getty Images)

The 18,000-strong sell-out crowd in the Spanish resort of Benidorm for the penultimate round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup were treated to a thrilling contest between the two riders who have dominated this season’s competition, which ended with series leader Fem van Empel edging out Dutch compatriot Puck Pieterse for victory. The success meant that van Empel clinched the overall World Cup title with one event remaining in Besançon, France, next weekend.


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Peter Cossins has been writing about professional cycling since 1993, with his reporting appearing in numerous publications and websites including Cycling WeeklyCycle Sport and Procycling - which he edited from 2006 to 2009. Peter is the author of several books on cycling - The Monuments, his history of cycling's five greatest one-day Classic races, was published in 2014, followed in 2015 by Alpe d’Huez, an appraisal of cycling’s greatest climb. Yellow Jersey - his celebration of the iconic Tour de France winner's jersey won the 2020 Telegraph Sports Book Awards Cycling Book of the Year Award.