World cup leader Eli Iserbyt took his third victory of this year’s series and led a one-two for Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at the Cyclo-cross World Cup Overijse.
The 24-year-old, from Belgium, attacked on the last lap from a leading trio after teammate Michael Vanthourenhout allowed him to open a gap.
The winner at last week’s round in Zonhoven, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions), had thrown everything at the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal duo but could not hold the last lap attack.
Vanthourenhout followed his teammate taking second nine seconds behind while Aerts was third at 26 seconds.
In taking the victory, Iserbyt extended his overall lead to 45 points after five rounds of the 16-race series completed.
“It was a perfect day,” said Iserbyt.
“I knew as the (series) leader I just rode a tempo and the other guys didn’t want to ride in the finish straight. That’s what you have to do as the leader. I’m very happy to take the win and extend my lead today.”
Vanthourenhout helped his Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal teammate to gap Aerts before taking second in the race and said it was a good result for his team.
“Me and Eli (Iserbyt) are a good couple in the race,” said Vanthourenhout who now sits second behind Iserbyt in the overall standings.
“It was a good race and good tactics. Eli won and I was second which is good for the team. For me it’s good but having seen the race maybe second is not good. I’m happy with the second place and it’s good for my general classification.”
Meanwhile, Aerts reflected on his unsuccessful last lap attack on the opening asphalt section before being gapped by the leading duo late in the race.
“You have to be happy when you’re on the podium that’s something I’ve learned from the past,” added Aerts.
“A podium place is never that bad but when you attack in the last lap and only finish in third place then maybe you don’t have to be very happy with that. We have to analyse this race and see.”
How it unfolded
On the opening asphalt climb it was Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus Cyclo-Cross Team) who led before Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) took the lead into the grass section.
Having seen the difficulties of the elite women before them none of the men decided to change bikes after the opening starting section. Trying to avoid the difficulties in the off-camber field descent Daan Soete (CX Team Deschacht - Group Hens - Maes Containers) used his technical ability and led into the wooded section for the first time.
Rain between the women’s race and men’s event had made previously ridable sections a struggle as the course became more slippery and Lars Van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) was one of the riders who crashed.
Soete had no such problems leading the charge with Hermans bridging up to the leader after the opening lap with the chasing group poised at six seconds behind.
Hermans looked strong and used his strength to forge a small margin ahead of the leading groups as his rivals were making small errors. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) made the chase back to Hermans before a bike change for the leading duo allowed Iserbyt to close the slender gap.
Corné Van Kessel (Tormans-Circus Cyclo-Cross Team) and Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) were keen not to be left behind the leading trio and sat 15 seconds behind after a ferocious opening two laps.
With two Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal riders, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout, in the leading trio Hermans had to stand his ground to stop any team tactics happening going into a technical section and instead took the lead.
Not wanting to lose points in the overall series Aerts was using his running speed up the muddy banks to reduce the gap to the leaders and distancing Van Kessel.
A third lap crash on a muddy descent for Hermans saw him drop back to Aerts seven seconds back leaving Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout at the front.
Hermans had also damaged his shoe in the crash meaning the Belgian had to change his shoe and dropped to 25 seconds behind the leading duo.
By the mid-way distance, lone chaser Aerts had bridged across to the leading duo only for Iserbyt to then ride clear after team-mate Vanthourenhout.
However, Aerts once again used his running speed to bridge the gap to Iserbyt and then took the lead from the two Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal riders.
Behind Hermans was pushing his limits in the chase behind bridging up to team-mate Van Kessel and Sweeck before briefly sliding out and sitting 16 seconds behind with three laps to go.
Sweeck was pacing his effort perfectly and as the leading trio eases up on the asphalt start section the Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal rider joined his two teammates and Aerts.
However, Aerts used his strength with two laps remaining to force the pace and the Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal trio onto the back foot and gapping Sweeck.
Vanthourenhout attacked coming into the bell forcing Aerts to chase with Iserbyt on his wheel.
The Baloise Trek Lions rider responded with a big attack on the asphalt climb but was followed by Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout as the trio went back onto the muddy off-camber banking together.
On a quick descent Vanthourenhout played team tactics and moved around Aerts allowing Iserbyt to force a gap on the next uphill section. Aerts was unable to respond or stay with Vanthourenhout as the Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal started riding away into the distance. Iserbyt, who also won the first World Cup round at Waterloo and third round at Iowa City, took the victory by nine seconds ahead of team-mate Vanthourenhout.
Aerts had suffered from his earlier efforts on the last lap and finished third 26 seconds behind. Iserbyt’s win also saw him extend his overall lead ahead of the sixth round at Tabor in the Czech Republic on November 14.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||1:00:28|
|2||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:09|
|3||Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:00:26|
|4||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:46|
|5||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:01:02|
|6||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||0:01:11|
|7||Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:01:23|
|8||Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:01:53|
|9||Cameron Mason (GBr) Trinity Racing||0:01:58|
|10||Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:02:26|
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