The first round of the Telenet Superprestige series started Sunday in Gieten, Netherlands. The course didn’t feature a lot of obstacles but included a lot of sand sections, and after heavy overnight rain, anything that wasn’t grass was wet, boggy mud.
The start sheet included Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), hot off of winning the opening rounds of the World Cup season and current world cup champion Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions).
Neither Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) nor Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) were racing. Van der Poel was resting after a tough end to his road season, while van Aert is still recovering from his Rour de France injury.
In the women’s, world champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) went up against a strong field including European champion Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts-777).
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) went clear on lap two of six after shaking off a challenge from Worst. Alvarado was unchallenged through the rest of the race, building a gap of 30 seconds within one lap and growing that with each lap.
Alvarado had to dodge lapped riders for much of the race, and even rode into the back of a crashed rider on lap three. She continued to look comfortable alone out front as the course became boggier and wetter with every lap. She won the race by 55 seconds
Behind her, Cant battled with Yara Kastelijn (Steylaerts-777) for second place. The pair separated themselves from the seven-strong group of chasers on lap three and spent the rest of the race together.
The 22-year-old gave the world champion a good fight, distancing her through lap three before fatiguing and losing form in the final lap. Cant was able to pull away from her through the technical sections of the course and finished third, 55 seconds behind Alvarado. Kastelijn held on for third.
Behind them, Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads) and Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Baloise Lions) were locked together for much of the race after Lechner had managed to bridge across to the Belgian. Lechner was able to drop Van Loy in the close of the final lap to take fourth.
Road world champion Annemeik van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) abandoned on lap five.
Iserbyt continues early-season streak
In the men’s, the Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)) and teammate Iserbyt went clear as a pair in lap three of ten before Soete fell off the pace, and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions) bridged across to join Iserbyt at the front.
Iserbyt continually attacked Hermans through the middle of the race, accelerating a number of times, but was never able to drop his opponent.
Behind, Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) chased, and after over a lap of hard pursuit, was 10 seconds off the lead pair. Behind him, Corne van Kessel (Telenet Baloise Lions) led a large chase group, 20 seconds back,
Aerts finally bridged to Hermans and Iserbyt with three laps to go and his teammate Hermans eased the pace to let him recover slightly. Iserbyt sat on Hermans’ wheel, and seemed to be biding his time after so much aggression earlier in the race.
Aerts didn’t look to be recovering after his chase and kept yo-yoing off the back of the lead pair as Hermans started putting pressure on Iserbyt.
However, having looked to be struggling for over one lap, Aerts recovered and started to make a move on lap nine, coming around Iserbyt. Just as he did so, he caught his bike on a barrier and caught his chain and snapped it, and he was forced to run to the pits.
Iserbyt finally made his move at the start of the last lap, and attacked through the technical sections. He gained a slim advantage over the ramp and Hermans was unable to catch back. Iserbyt continued to grow his lead and went on to take another win in his remarkable start to the season.
Hermans finished second, 17 seconds back. Van Kessel was able to edge out Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions) in the sprint for third. Aerts was able to recover some ground after his mechanical and finished ninth.
The second round of Superprestige series takes place on October 19 in Boom, Belgium.
- Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus): 46:24
- Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan): +0:55
- Yara Kastelijn (Steylaerts-777): +1:06
- Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads): +1:13
- Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Baloise Lions): +1:18
- Maud Keptheijns (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +1:23
- Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +1:04:13
- Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions) +0:00:17
- Corne van Kessel (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:00:43
- Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions): +S.T
- Jens Adams (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +0:01:08
- Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +0:01:17