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X2O Trophy Kortrijk: Iserbyt wins elite men's race

Eli Iserbyt stops the clock at the finish in Merksplas
Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) took a solo victory at the  X²O Badkamers Trophy’s Urban Cross Kortrijk on Saturday. He broke away from a lead group with two laps to go take the win ahead of Lars Van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions) in second and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in third.

It was the first cyclo-cross race of the season for Van Aert but the Belgian had an untimely mechanical in the closing lap while he and Van der Haar were in pursuit of Iserbyt.

It was a strong field for the elite men’s race at the X²O Badkamer Trofee in Kortrijk, and many will be travelling to the opening round of the Cyclo-cross World Cup in Tabor on Sunday.

Half way through the men’s nine-lap race in Kortrijk, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) opened a gap on a four-rider chase group that included Eli Iserbyt, Lars Van der Haar, Corne van Kessel (Tormans) and Wout van Aert.

Further back were Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen), Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions), Quinten Hermans (Tormans) and Ryan Kamp (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).

With two laps to go, the two chase groups were just about to reconnect when Van Aert made an attack that forced the pace. That move served to stop the second chase group from catching back up, while also reducing the gap to Vanthourenhout.

Vanthourenhout led the race by 30 seconds, but a small slide-out on a slick off-camber section cost him a few seconds. His luck worsened when he got a rear wheel flat tire, with the only consolation being that it happened right before the mechanic pits. 

After a very smooth bike change, Vanthourenhout got back out on course, but Van Aert, Iserbyt and Van der Haar had already passed him, forcing him to chase the leading trio.

Van Aert kicked up the pace with Iserbyt and Van der Haar on his wheel leaving Vanthourenhout too far off the back to close the gap. Van Aert opened a small gap but Iserbyt showed his strength when he closed it down with Van der Haar on his wheel. 

Iserbyt then made his winning moved and opened a small gap, that increased even further, when Van Aert slid out and unclipped along a narrow, off-camber section, which blocked Van der Haar from moving passed.

Back up and running, Van Aert turned up the pace in an effort to catch Iserbyt, but the younger Belgian used his punchy strength, smooth riding and momentum to increase his lead to roughly 10 seconds over the two chasers.

Van der Haar moved to the front through the sand section to help try and shut down the gap to Iserbyt. He looked back at Van Aert for assistance, but Van Aert did not respond. Van der Haar opened a small gap, as Van Aert entered the mechanic pits, but the Dutch rider wasn’t strong enough to close the gap to Iserbyt alone.

Iserbyt rode a flawless race to take the win by seven seconds ahead of Van der Haar and 27 seconds to Van Aert. Vanthourenhout finished fourth at 41 seconds back.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 1:01:22
2Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:00:07
3Wout Van Aert (Bel) 0:00:27
4Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:41
5Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:00:50
6Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:51
7Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:00:56
8Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:00:58
9Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:08
10Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:01:12
11Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:16
12Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:30
13Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:01:40
14Joran Wyseure (Bel)
15Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:01:48
16Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:02
17Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:17
18Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:19
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:23
20Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:50
21Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:53
22Curtis White (USA) 0:02:54
23Kyle Agterberg (Ned) 0:03:24
24Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:03:37
25Tim Van Dijke (Ned) 0:03:44
26Andreas Goeman (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:48
27Julian Siemons (Bel) 0:03:56
28Ward Huybs (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:57
29Arne Baers (Bel) 0:03:58
30Joachim Van Looveren (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct 0:04:05
31Jetze Van Campenhout (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:04:09
32Seppe Rombouts (Bel) 0:04:21
33Robin Alderweireld (Bel) 0:04:26
34Valentin Guillaud (Fra) 0:04:31
35Gianni Siebens (Bel) 0:04:50
36Arno Van Den Broeck (Bel) 0:05:19
37Valentin Remondet (Fra) A.S Bike Crossteam 0:05:20
38Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct 0:06:00
39Jarno Bellens (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:06:33
40Noah Vreeswijk (Ned)
41Ydris Salomez (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
42Justin Laevens (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
DNFFelipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-Bh-Gsport
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers
DNFYentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
DNFThibau Nys (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
DNFIngmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)

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