Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) won the Superprestige Gavere race with yet another dominant ride on the fast and hilly course.
The ten-lap race was a battle between the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal and Telenet Baloise Lions teams from the fast start and Iserbyt eventually emerged as the strongest on the gradual climbs through the trees.
Iserbyt went clear after Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) crashed on a tight corner after three laps of attacks. He never looked back and went on to win alone by 43 seconds even after easing up to high-five the crowd and savour yet another victory.
Behind the talented young Belgian, the race came back together and changed several times, as Aerts took a bike change and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions) surged back into contention for a podium place.
Van der Haar eventually went clear on the climb through the trees to finish second behind Iserbyt. Laurens Sweek (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) was third at 54 seconds.
Britain’s Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) had a difficult slow start and was forced to chase early in the race. He put in another gutsy ride but was forced to fight back and chase other riders time and time again. He eventually finished fourth at 1:00.
Pidcock had the consolation of securing the lead in the Under 23 Superprestige classification. Van der Haar took over as the leader of the men's elite classification. However Iserbyt confirmed his status as the rider to beat.
"I messed up the start and had to work hard to get back," Iserbyt admitted.
"Early on a lot of us in the team was together but we were surprised how quick Toon Aerts was. We were struggling a little but then it went out way. On the second lap I was on the front but the team said it was too early, so I let my teammates do the work. Then when it split, I went and it was the right time to go. After I got a gap, I adjusted my pace to ensure I had the energy to go all the way to the finish."
Cyclo-cross fans are looking forward to the battle between Iserbyt and Mathieu van der Poel next Sunday at the Telenet Superprestige Ruddervoorde. The world champion will make a delayed start to his cyclo-cross season after racing 31 days on the road in 2019 and Iserbyt is considered his biggest rival in the absence of Wout van Aert.
Before then Iserbyt will ride the Koppenberg cross on Friday, that includes the legendary cobbled climb used in the Belgian Classics.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||1:00:27|
|2||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:00:43|
|3||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:00:54|
|4||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing||0:01:00|
|5||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:01:03|
|6||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:01:05|
|7||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:01:24|
|8||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:01:28|
|9||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:01:46|
|10||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus||0:02:10|
|11||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)||0:02:21|
|12||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:02:25|
|13||Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:02:42|
|14||Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin-Fristads||0:02:57|
|15||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus||0:03:21|
|16||Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:04:16|
|17||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tarteletto - Isorex||0:04:37|
|18||Timo Kielich (Bel) Creafin-Fristads||0:04:53|
|19||Kyle Agterberg (Ned)||0:05:02|
|20||Pim Ronhaar (Ned)||0:05:27|
|21||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:06:00|
|22||Cameron Mason (GBr) Trinity Racing|
|23||Antoine Huby (Fra)|
|24||Axel Laurance (Fra)|
|25||Maxim Dewulf (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal|
|26||Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)|
|27||Clement Alleno (Fra)|
|28||Ben Tulett (GBr) Corendon - Circus|
|29||Edwin De Wit (Bel)|
|30||Lukas Mrtsell Rrfors (Swe)|
|31||Joe Williams (GBr)|
|32||Antoine Benoit Guyod (Fra)|
|33||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|34||Elias Nilsson (Swe)|
|35||Dennis Brouwer (Ned)|
|DNF||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Creafin – Fristads|
|DNF||Jonatan stlund (Swe)|
|DNF||Ben Turner (GBr) Creafin-Fristads|
|DNS||Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite|
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