Fem van Empel powered to her second career World Cup win in Flamanville, France, on Sunday, pipping Puck Pieterse on the finishing straight after the pair spent the finale dueling at the head of the race.
With series leader Lucinda Brand among a handful of notables not in attendance, Van Empel, Pieterse, and Kata Blanka Vas established themselves as the riders to beat in Flamanville after getting clear of the field early. Pieterse then put in a big dig, and although Van Empel was able to bridge back up, Vas was dropped for good. From there, it was down to Van Empel and Pieterse to battle at the front.
They remained closely matched through the final lap. Pieterse led onto the finishing straight, but Van Empel managed to surge past to secure the victory, her second in a World Cup race so far in her young career. Pieterse settled for second with Vas arriving 23 seconds behind the duo to round out the final spot on the podium.