Race Report
Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Kastelijn, Iserbyt win Koppenbergcross

The first round of the DVV Trofee series got underway in Oudenaarde, with 777 dominating the women's and Iserbyt taking another win in the men's.

The DVV Trofee got underway Friday at Koppenbergcross, the race that uses the iconic climb from the Tour of Flanders road race.

Yara Kastelijn won the women’s to top an all-777 team podium, while Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) won the men’s after a tough battle with Tom Pidcock (Trinity) in the final laps.

Yara Kastelijn topped a trio of 777 riders that took the top slots, with teammates Annemarie Worst and Alice Maria Arzuffi taking second and third respectively. Kastelijn’s victory comes just five days after her win at Superprestige, Gavere.

Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads) was the only rider that interrupted the 777 stranglehold on the race, as the Italian went clear with Kastelijn early in the race. However, when Kastelijn pulled away from her, Lechner faded, leaving Worst and Aruzuffi to chase.

Worst kept Kastelijn close as she led the chase, but was never able to overhaul her teammate, who won by 11 seconds.

Lechner took fourth and American Kaitie Keough (Cannondale) finished fifth.

Women’s Top-3

  1. Yara Kastelijn (777): 0:42:37
  2. Annemarie Worst (777): +0:00:11
  3. Alice Maria Arzuffi (777): +0:00:41
Kastelijn took her second victory in five days. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

The men’s race came down to a battle between Eli Iserbyt and Tom Pidcock in the final laps.

Iserbyt led the field for much of the race, but with just three laps to go, the U23 world champion was able to bridge across to him to set up a thrilling finale. Iserbyt had commanded a comfortable lead but a gear problem caused him to stop and allowed Pidcock to make the catch.

Both Iserbyt and Pidcock were aggressive through the final laps and the lead constantly swapped hands. Pidcock briefly went clear on the penultimate lap after his acceleration on one of the course’s many climbs dropped the Belgian.

However, Iserbyt was able to demonstrate the form that has seen him on a tear all season to bring back Pidcock and distance him in the final lap, winning by over 30 seconds.

Iserbyt’s win saw him continue the streak of success that has seen him both dominate the World Cup and pick up victories at Superprestige.

Michael Vanthourenhout finished third at 1:29.

Men’s Top-3

  1. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): 01:02:25
  2. Tom Pidcock (Trinity): +0:00:31
  3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal): +0:01:29