Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) fought through the mud and rain to win the Merksplas Superprestige race, extending her run of cyclocross victories to three.
Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) challenged Alvarado as she continued her comeback but errors in the rain ultimately cost her precious seconds and she finished 26 seconds behind.
Marion Norbert Riberolle (Crelan-Corendon) fought with Annemarie Worst (Cyclocross Reds) to finish third at 52 seconds.
“It was a really hard race, not only due to the weather conditions but also about the race itself with the riders,” Alvarado said post race.
“I can be really happy about this victory because I fought hard for it. I’m happy with that one.”
The four-lap race started fast, with Brand taking an early lead as Alvarado was forced to chase, stuck behind other riders.
Alvarado was six seconds down on Brand after lap 1 but she closed the gap as Brand struggled and lost speed on a technical, muddy descent section.
Alvarado surged past into the lead and opened a 15-second lead.
Brand was able to reduce the gap on lap 3 but Alvarado accelerated on the fourth lap and to secure her third consecutive victory.
Almost a minute behind Brand, Norbert Riberolle and Worst fought hard for third. Worst appeared stronger but then Norbert Riberolle made a decisive late attack to take third place.
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