Puck Pieterse (Netherlands) won today, in Anadia, Portugal, the European Olympic cross country (XCO) title in the under-23 women’s category.

The Dutch rider turned the race into a consecration parade. She took the lead on the first of six laps, gained ground on all her rivals on the following two laps and just managed to manage the margin until the end.

The fight for the remaining podium positions was intense during the first half of the race, when three riders were in pursuit of the leader. But at the turn of the second half of the race, Dutch rider Fem Empel stood out from the rest, providing a double for the Netherlands.

Puck Pieterse was the lone winner, Fem Empel second at 52 seconds. In the battle for the bronze medal, Italian Giada Specia beat Danish Sofie Pedersen, and got the third place, 1m55s behind the winner.

Portuguese Raquel Queirós was the ninth to cross the finish line, 5m00s from the first.

The European Mountain Bike Championships ends this Sunday afternoon with the XCO for under-23 men, with the start scheduled for 2pm.


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