Eli Iserbyt victorious in Superprestige Boom

European champion Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) increased his lead in the Superprestige series as he soloed to victory in the fifth round in Boom ahead of his teammate Michael Vanthourenhout. Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) came home in third place, while Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) had to settle for fourth.

"It was a dangerous course and every lap it got more difficult," Iserbyt said. "You could see that in the race. I am glad that I was able to win on this beautiful course. Everyone raced about the same speed. 

"It was difficult to make a difference, but in the end it was a battle of attrition. I waited for that one moment because I knew it was going to be a long and hard race and had to pay attention to technique."

Iserbyt was prominent throughout, showing his strength as early as the second lap. The Belgian’s decisive move came with two-and-a-half laps to go, when he hit the front on a steep climb and pressed home his advantage when Van Aert and the men on his wheel were forced off their bikes and onto their feet near the summit.

Both Van Aert and Aerts were fallers in the slippery conditions as they gave chase, and therein, perhaps, lay the difference between Iserbyt and the rest here. The Belgian produced a technically flawless ride, making light of the conditions as he forged clear to what was ultimately a resounding victory.

Iserbyt had time to wipe the mud off his jersey as he crossed the line for his sixth win of the season, 15 seconds ahead of Vanthourenhout and 21 up on Aerts, while Van Aert came in 32 seconds down.

Corne van Kessel (Tormans Cyclo-cross Team) took fifth ahead of Ryan Kamp and Belgian champion Laurens Sweeck. Tom Pidcock crossed the line in 9th place, marking a significant progression on his outing last weekend.

Van Aert was riding his third cyclo-cross race of the winter and he admitted beforehand that he was still building form for the events in late December, when his eternal rival Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) enters the fray. 

After a brace of third places last weekend, Van Aert was among the favourites here, but he suffered an early setback when he was squeezed out on the inside of a turn on the first lap, which left him with some ground to recoup in the opening phase of the race.

Iserbyt ignited the race by riding up a run-up on the second lap, while Aerts briefly struggled. Come lap four, there were six riders in front, as Van Aert had worked his way up to Iserbyt, Aerts, and Vanthourenhout, while Sweeck and Van Kessel hung on as best they could.

Van Aert came to the front on lap four and his searing show of force there seemed to open another phase of the race, helping to drag the four strongest riders clear of the rest.

"It looked like I felt good on those climbs, but that was just an illusion," Van Aert said. "Fourth place was where I belonged today. I didn't have a good feeling."

Aerts forced the issue on lap six and his pace-making strung things out and opened some small gaps among the front runners, but the leading quartet were still in contact by lap’s end.

The afternoon’s key attack followed on lap seven, where Iserbyt hit the front on a steep climb. Van Aert was on his wheel, but when the Jumbo-Visma man was forced off his bike and onto his feet, Iserbyt sensed his opportunity and punched his way clear. Aerts led the chase at first, but when his wheels slipped from under him, Van Aert took up the pursuit with Vanthourenhout on his wheel.

With two laps to go, Van Aert and Vanthourenhout trailed Iserbyt by 11 seconds with Aerts a further five seconds back, but the race took on another complexion shortly afterwards, when Van Aert lost his grip on a left-hand corner and fell. That left Vanthourenhout in lone pursuit of his Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal teammate Iserbyt, while Van Aert was joined by Aerts a little further behind.

Iserbyt changed his bike on the penultimate lap and he took the bell with 13 seconds in hand on Vanthourenhout and another seven on Aerts, while Van Aert came through 25 seconds down.

The positions remained unchanged on the final lap around the venue of the Tomorrowland music festival in Boom, where the day belonged to Iserbyt. He extends his lead in the Superprestige standings to 5 points over Aerts, while Sweeck lies 11 points back in third.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 1:02:05
2Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:15
3Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:00:21
4Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:32
5Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:01:11
6Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:18
7Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:33
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:01:46
9Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:02:00
10Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:06
11Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:02:15
12Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:26
13Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:02:30
14Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:31
15Thibau Nys (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:46
16Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:02:56
17Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:03:04
18Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:03:06
19Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:14
20Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:24
21Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:03:35
22Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:39
23Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-BH-Gsport 0:03:45
24Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:48
25Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:03:57
26Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:04:14
27Curtis White (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld 0:04:20
28Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:04:35
29Arne Vrachten (Bel) Acrog - Tormans Balen BC 0:04:43
30Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:05:03
31Joran Wyseure (Bel) Acrog - Tormans Balen BC 0:05:21
32Tim van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo Visma Development 0:05:26
33Arne Baers (Bel) Bert Containers - Pauwels Sauzen 0:05:40
34Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:05:54
35Seppe Rombouts (Bel) Acrog - Tormans Balen Bc 0:06:06
36Hugo Jot (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team 0:06:07
37Jelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:06:15
38Kyle Agterberg (Ned) G.w.c. de Adelaar 0:06:44
39Len Dejonghe (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:06:57
40Yan Gras (Fra) AAA Sörius
41Antoine Huby (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
42Robin Alderweireld (Bel) Team Atom 6
43Jelle Vermoote (Bel) Acrog - Tormans Balen Bc
44Joris Delbove (Fra) Team S1neo-Graal-Bjorka
45Julian Siemons (Bel) AA Drink Young Lions
46Ward Huybs (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
47Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
48Wout Vervoort (Bel) Iko-crelan
49Joachim van Looveren (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
50Maik van der Heijden (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg - Destil
51Jarno Bellens (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
52Yves Coolen (Bel) Beat Cycling Team
53Aurélien Philibert (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team
54Ydris Salomez (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
DNFVincent Oger (Bel) Entente Cycliste de Wallonie
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers
DNFDiether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads
DNFDavid van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFStan Godrie (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg - Destil
DNFGianni Siebens (Bel) Urbano Cycling Team
DNFJetze van Campenhout (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers
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Superprestige standings after five rounds
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 72
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 67
3Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 61
4Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 59
5Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 54
6Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert 53
7Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 36
8Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 28
9Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 27
10Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-BH-Gsport 23
11Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 14
12Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 14
13Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 13
14Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 12
15Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 9
16Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 9
17Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 9
18Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 7
19Marcel Meisen (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix 5
20Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 5
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 5
22Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 4
23Jelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 4
24Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 3
25Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 3
26Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 2
27Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 1
28Thibau Nys (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions

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