Race Report
Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Worst goes long, Iserbyt completes hat trick at World Cup, Bern

The third round of the Cyclocross World Cup series saw Iserbyt extend his series lead with a third win, and Worst go solo from the start to take victory.

Annemarie Worst (777) and Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) won the third round of the World Cup in Bern, Switzerland on Sunday.

The twisting, technical course had a mix of hard-packed dirt, gravel, and rutted mud set across tough off-camber banks and narrow lanes.

Worst was alone at the front nearly all race. Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Annemarie Worst (777) was simply unstoppable in the women’s race. The Dutchwoman pulled away on the opening lap, and was never seen again.

Having finished just off the podium in fourth at the Superprestige Belgium on Saturday, the 24-year-old was back with a bang in a dominant win at her first race in the 2019-2020 World Cup.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) and Anna Kay (Experza) finished second and third respectively.

“I had doubts after my ride in Gieten last week but those are gone now,” said Worst, who was left disappointed with 12th at Superprestige Gieten. “The World Cup is a target of mine and it’s good to start my campaign this way.”

Worst, Kay, Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale), Maghalie Rochette (CXFever) and World Cup leader Nash (Clif) formed an early group, but Worst didn’t leave it long to simply ride away from them as she began her solo ride to victory. “It’s a course where it’s good to ride alone and choose your own lines,” Worst explained after the race.

Just as Worst rode solo for much of the race, Alvarado was on her own from the end of lap one. She came across to the lead group of Keough, Kay and Nash and left them in her fruitless chase after Worst.

Behind them, Kay, Keough and Yara Kastelijn (777) scrapped for third for much of the race. Kay and Keough went to the end of the final lap together after Kastelijn slid on a muddy section and lost ground. 20-year-old Kay had just enough left in the legs to give one last kick as she distanced the American in the final push for the line to take third.

Series leader Nash finished in sixth, and maintained her first place in the World Cup after Rochette, second overall in the series, finished eleventh in the race.

Iserbyt’s running speed in the mud made it count. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images (FILE)

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) continued his dominant start to the season, completing his set of World Cup wins. The 21-year-fought back having been dropped on lap 3 as he battled Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) to take another strong win.

Aerts was in a chase group of three for the second half of the race but powered away from them in the final lap to take second, with Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) third.

Iserbyt and Aerts went away from the field in lap 2, but a mistake from Iserbyt allowed Aerts to pull away and distance him. However, the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal rider caught back in lap 5, and started putting the pressure on Aerts.

Iserbyt’s comfort and speed when running started to count and he eventually distanced his larger, heavier rider to pull away in lap 6. Iserbyt continued to grow his lead through the final laps to win comfortably.

When Iserbyt rode away, Aerts settled into a chase group with Vanthourenhout and teammate Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions). Aerts waited until the start of the last lap to make his move, and powered away from the others to take second place.

Iserbyt’s win further extends his overall lead in the series.

The next round of the World Cup is in Tabor, Czech Republic, on November 16.

Women’s Top-6

  1. Annemarie Worst (777): 45:27
  2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus): +00:33
  3. Anna Kay (Experza): +00:56
  4. Kaitie Keough (Cannondale): +01:09
  5.  Yara Kaselijn (777): +01:20
  6. Katie Compton (Trek): +01:26

Men’s Top-6

  1. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): 1:01:26
  2. Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:00:35
  3. Michael Vanthourenhout: (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:00:44
  4. Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:00:52
  5. Corne van Kessel (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:01:01
  6. Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:01:02