Cyclocross rider Celine del Carmen Alvarado scored her second straight victory in the Super Prestige race on Saturday. The former world champion won in dominant fashion at Merksplas, Belgium.
The 24-year-old Alvarado dominated Merksplas from start to finish. The 2020 world champion was the only one able to respond to a fast start by Marianne Vos, who had to release herself very quickly. Then Alvarado drove without threatening victory.
Behind Alvarado, Dennis Betsema finished eighteen seconds back in second place, followed by Inge van der Heegden. World Champion Vos fell away after the fast start and finished 10th.
The convincing victory is once again confirmation that Alvarado is back to her old form after illness and injury, dominating cyclocross between 2019 and 2021. She was also the best in the Superprestige cross in Neil over a week ago. This was her first win in a year and a half.
With two victories in a row, Alvarado is also back at the top of the Superprestige standings. She took over the lead from Betsema, who had the same number of points (43). Alvarado won more crosses than her compatriot.
Later in the day, Lars van de Haar had to settle for second in the Merksplas. The victory went to the Belgian Laurens Sweeck. Compatriot Michael Vanthornhout was third.
For Tom Pidcock, racing in the Merksplas was his first spin-off since winning the world title in Fayetteville, USA, at the end of January. The 23-year-old Briton was unable to compete for the stage victory and finished seventh.
Classification leader Swick, the standout man with two victories in the last eight days, already makes a good difference with the rest after two rounds. At the halfway point, only Van der Haar was still a danger at fifteen seconds.
A World Cup cross will follow in the Overigsee, Belgium, on Sunday.
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