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No one could touch Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal) today in Waterloo, Wisconsin, after the defending champion split from the front group early on in the race and held his solo lead to the finish to take the first round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup.
“It was good to ride alone,” Iserbyt said. “I had a gap, and Laurens kept the pressure really high, so I had to push until the end, but I’m happy with my form and happy with the win. This was a plan (to win off the front), but you have to have very good legs and be at 110 percent, and I think that was the case. It was Plan A, but I had other plans so I’m really happy that I could succeed.”
Laurens Sweeck (Crelan – Fristads) finished second, 25 seconds behind.
Iserbyt pulled away in the third lap of nine, gaining 10 seconds over a large group led by Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions), who had a strong start to take the hole shot and lead of the race for about 30 seconds before Iserbyt took over.
Iserbyt kept the pressure on, causing Van der Haar to fade, and for Sweeck to pick up the pursuit of Iserbyt. Sweek rode with Thibau Nys (Baloise – Trek Lions), Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal) and van der Haar before moving ahead a lap later. Meanwhile, Iserbyt extended his lead by a few seconds each lap, showing his hand as one of the riders to beat.
Behind at 25 seconds, Sweeck settled in for a solo ride for silver.
The race for third place was close, with Nys, Vanthourenhout and van der Haar all keeping a close eye on each other. Van der Haar was the first to make a move – opening up a small gap on the final lap before the final flyover.
He had enough left to take third from the front, while Vanthourenhout hit his handlebars with frustration, forced to be content with fourth place. Nys crossed the line with a wheelie to take fifth.
Results powered by FirstCycling.com