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Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) rode away from the bunch in the penultimate laps of World Cup Tábor to continue his clean streak in the series and tighten his grip on the white leader’s jersey.
Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) was the only rider able to come close to the charging Belgian on Sunday. The 2021 Tábor champion finished five seconds back for second-place.
Michael Vanthourenhout trailed in more than 20 seconds later after playing a crucial role in his Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal teammate’s victory.
Victory for Iserbyt sees the 25-year-old break his Czech curse after placing second in his last three appearances on the Tábor circuit.
“This has always been a difficult course to win,” he said. “It was a little bit my black beast, I’m glad I tamed it.”
Like in the women’s series, the gap at the top of the World Cup standings extended after the third round Sunday. Iserbyt is now 38 points ahead of first chaser Laurens Sweeck (Crelan Fistads) after his flawless series start.
— UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup (@UCIcyclocrossWC) October 23, 2022
Iserbyt profited from the work of teammate Vanthourenhout in the first World Cup on European soil this season.
Vanthourenhout went clear early in the race while Iserbyt sat in the group and waited to be towed back.
A large bunch of leaders formed when Vanthourenhout was reeled in, and the Pauwels-Sauzen Bingoal pair piled the pressure on major rival Sweeck.
Iserbyt was relentless through the back-half of the race with his characteristic aggressive verve. The series leader finally made the gap over a small rise on lap six of eight, and the fatigued-looking Sweeck couldn’t counter.
Van der Haar burst out of the chase group a lap later and led a solo TT after the bombastic Belgian, but once Iserbyt was gone, he was gone.
Iserbyt rode a flawless final quarter of the race and extended his advantage in front of massed Czech crowds.
The 25-year-old hit the tarmac final and had time to check back over his shoulder, high-five the crowd, and zip up his white jersey before he completed his World Cup hat trick.
“It was very tactical in the final laps,” Vanthourenhout said. “Everyone looks at us so it’s very difficult, but Eli won and I came third so today was again a good day for us.”
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