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Eli Iserbyt wins Koppenbergcross men's race

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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) wins Koppenbergcross 2019

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) wins Koppenbergcross 2019
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The Podium (L-R): Tom Pidcock, Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout

The Podium (L-R): Tom Pidcock, Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The peloton hit the Koppenberg on the opening lap

The peloton hit the Koppenberg on the opening lap
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Riders tackling the Koppenberg

Riders tackling the Koppenberg
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) leads Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing) at Koppenbergcross

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) leads Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing) at Koppenbergcross
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing) chases Iserbyt up the cobbled hill

Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing) chases Iserbyt up the cobbled hill
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) leads the way in the mud

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) leads the way in the mud
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing)

Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing)

Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)

Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions)

Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions)

Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tom Meeusen (Corendon-Circus)

Tom Meeusen (Corendon-Circus)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Pidcock and Iserbyt do battle on the Koppenberg

Pidcock and Iserbyt do battle on the Koppenberg
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) won the opening round of the DVV Trofee at Koppenbergcross, powering away from Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing) on the final lap of seven to seal his seventh win of the season.

Pidcock finished 31 seconds back after a battle that lasted for much of the race, while Iserbyt's teammate Michael Vanthourenhout rounded out the podium 1:29 down.

"I had to take a head start on the descent because I saw Tom was better there," said Iserbyt after the race. "After the descent I still had a small gap and I was almost sure of the win. Once I made it over the Koppenberg I knew for sure that the win was in."

As well as his fight with Pidcock, the Belgian also had to overcome a mechanical late in the race, letting his rival catch back on.

"When I turned onto the Koppenberg [on lap 5], my chain fell off," Iserbyt said. "There was probably a lot of mud on the chain, which caused the caused the derailleur to run into the spokes.

"I had to recover for a moment.  I had lost my rhythm, but soon noticed that there was still a lot of mud on it."

Iserbyt had the lead from the start, hitting the front of the peloton the first time up the Koppenberg, and regaining it after an early bike swap. Further back, Pidcock scythed his way through the field after a slow start, eventually catching the lone leader Iserbyt on the second ascent of the cobbled hill.

Belgian champion Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) was the primary chaser behind and managed to slowly but surely close in on the leading duo on lap three. Iserbyt soon upped the pace, reopening the gap to Pidcock, while Aerts would fall further back. At the end of the lap, the Brit was seven seconds behind his rival, while Aerts trailed 33 seconds down.

Pidcock's chase was hindered by a slip to the ground on lap five, while, a minute behind Iserbyt, Aerts was joined in the battle for third by Vanthourenhout. At the bottom of the Koppenberg at the end of the lap, Iserbyt suffered his mechanical problem, stopping long enough for Pidcock to make the catch.

The next big move came from Pidcock, midway through the penultimate lap. He managed to distance Iserbyt, but things were once again back together by the top of the Koppenberg, setting up a grand finale.

After taking a bike change, Pidcock lost ground early on the final lap, and with Iserbyt upping the pace once more, it was the end of the Brit's challenge for victory. He was safe in second place, though, with Vanthorenhout almost a minute back, and sealed his best result in the elites to date.

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 1:02:34
2Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:00:28
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:01:27
4Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:01:56
5Lars Van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:10
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus 0:02:46
7Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:54
8Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin – Fristads 0:03:13
9Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:03:27
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:04:11
11Michael Boroš (Cze) 0:04:27
12Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:05:04
13Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:05:58
14Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:06:12
15Ian Field (GBr) 0:06:40
16Koen Van Dijke (Ned) 0:07:45
17Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel) 0:08:11
18Loic Hennaux (Bel) +2 laps
19Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) +2 laps
20Tyler Cloutier (USA) +2 laps
21Yoni De Bock (Bel) +2 laps
22Henrik Lunder Aalrust (Nor) +2 laps
23Max Judelson (USA) +2 laps
24Niels Vandenbroucke (Bel) +3 laps
25Jonatan Östlund (Swe) +3 laps
26Killian De Groodt (Bel) +3 laps
27Andrew Juiliano (USA) +3 laps
28James Madgwick (GBr) +3 laps
29Jelle De Bock (Bel) +3 laps
30Jeff Gloden (Lux) +4 laps
DNFLaurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
DNFNicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
DNFCarlos Miguel Moreira Cardoso (Lux)

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