Fem van Empel has signed a contract extension with Visma-Lease a Bike that will see her racing across multiple disciplines with the Dutch team through to the end of 2027.
Van Empel spoke of her contract extension ahead of the team’s presentation in December, saying that the long-term commitment was an obvious choice. She also spoke with WielerFlits about her future in cycling.
“For me, that was certainly an obvious choice. I have a lot of confidence in the team and they in me. So the decision wasn’t that difficult. I am especially happy that we can continue together. Hopefully, there is a bright future ahead,” Van Empel said.
Van Empel, the world champion in cyclocross, won her eleventh consecutive cyclocross race this season at the World Cup in Antwerp on Saturday.
Van Empel, 21, joined Jumbo-Visma this year and spent her first season racing as part of the Women’s WorldTour.
Her road career is still in its relative infancy, but she secured a stage win at the inaugural women’s Tour de l’Avenir and strong stage finishes at the Tour de Romandie.
She said that she aims to continue as a multi-discipline athlete in cyclocross and cross-country mountain biking in the future but sees herself placing a higher priority on the road.
“It will be more on the road than on the mountain bike,” Van Empel said of combining her calendars with cyclocross. “You have to make a choice at some point. I expect it will become more and more road-based in the future, but the exact races have not yet been determined.”
Van Empel said she is looking forward to developing her talent in road racing but still doesn’t know where her strengths are.
“I don’t really know yet. I’m guessing something all-round. I find it difficult to say whether I am more specifically a climber or a classic rider. I just keep doing my thing.”