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