A number of big names were missing from the list of Neil participants. European champion Wim van Impel needed a rest, Lucinda Brand, who won the previous three editions, has not recovered from a broken hand and Annemarie Wurst has knee problems.
An excellent opportunity for Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado to finally get a taste of victory. But then she had to deal with Dennis Betsima, who won the first round of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde.
Inge van der Heijden, Sanne Cant and Aniek van Alphen all tried to follow the best candidates, but each had to bow their heads. Van Alven lasted longer, but kept getting stuck at an advertising banner.
Alvarado felt her chance, but then had to be able to get rid of the hidden Betsima. Only on the last lap was Betsema caught by a small but costly mistake. Alvarado continued steadily and was allowed to make his first victory gesture in 1 year and 9 months. I finally burst into tears.
With a wall-to-wall smile, Alvarado appeared in front of the microphone. “It was a tough match,” she admitted. “The first half of the course was better for me, the second for Dennis.”
“On the last lap it was all or nothing. It was one lap full of driving.”
When asked how much of that victory was, Alvarado burst into tears again. “It’s been a very long way,” she cried. “Finally, I had to wait a long time for this.”
“Hopefully I’m finally gone and can now compete to win every single time.”
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