Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) secured a solo win at the X2O Trofee Kortrijk – Urban Cross in what marked his first win of the cyclocross season.
Wearing the World Champion’s rainbow jersey, Pidcock crossed the finish line three seconds before a two-person sprint for second place won by Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) with Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal) in third. place.
“Their ‘moie beating in mijn mooie trui‘ [it’s nice to win in my nice jersey]Pidcock said in a post-race interview.
“It was tough, it was super fast. I got a little gap, but I couldn’t really extend the gap. There was always Lars and Eli chasing. It was a tough race trying to stay focused and keep my pace,” he said.
“I knew if the two of them got together they would be thinking about the GC and sure enough when they got together I got a bit more of a gap. It was a tough race, similar to last Saturday.” [UCI World Cup Overijse]. But much better than that.”
Several turnarounds marked this year’s X2O Trofee Kortrijk – Urban Cross, the second round of the series, as a blistering start saw a field of five take an early lead.
Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal), Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions), Thibau Nys (Baloise Trek Lions), European champion Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal), world champion Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) opened a considerable gap in the first lap.
However, it was a short time before Pidcock made an offer for a solo break.
He opened his gap with a strong run through the sand pit, and at the start of the next lap, he had nine seconds in hand. The move forced Van der Haar, Vanthourenhout and Iserbyt to chase, as Nys lost his pace.
Pidcock, competing in his third event of the season, held onto his nine second lead on lap four (of nine), unable to completely shake off the fierce pursuit that followed him. Van der Haar’s power and technical ability around the circuit closely matched Pidcock’s. His efforts in second place forced a gap ahead of Pauwels’ teammates Sauzen-Bingoal, Vantourenhout and Iserbyt.
Rushing through the pits to grab a new bike and some food, Pidcock popped a gel to recharge his sugar levels mid-race, perhaps feeling a bit low on energy, but seemed to have regained control at the front of the race. race. entering the fifth lap.
The front drivers separated on lap six, with Pidcock holding nine seconds on van der Haar, 12 seconds on Iserbyt and 16 seconds on Vanthourenhout.
Van der Haar cut the gap to Pidcock to just six seconds with three laps to go. However, the Dutch champion was soon joined by a determined Iserbyt, reigniting the race for second place.
Iserbyt moved ahead of van der Haar, appearing to gain a second drive with two laps remaining, as the pair vied for time in the overall X2O Trofee series standings. Even with the power of two chasing, Iserbyt and van der Haar were not strong enough to carry Pidcock before the penultimate circuit.
Pidcock increased his lead from 12 seconds to 17 at the start of the final lap, clinching the win.
In the race for second place, a slipping of the pedals caused van der Haar to lose contact with Iserbyt. But in a strong comeback, he caught up and then sped past Iserbyt to take second of the day.
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