Eli Iserbyt extends lead in World Cup with win at Flamanville

Eli Iserbyt emerged triumphant at the Flamanville World Cup, marking his second victory of this year’s World Cup series. The Belgian rider, representing Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal, showcased a remarkable comeback, overcoming a poor start to ultimately outclass his competitors. Initially lagging in 14th place, Iserbyt faced a challenging start, falling ten seconds behind the leading group at the end of the first lap. However, his resilience and skill saw him slicing through the field, eventually catching up and surpassing early frontrunner Pim Ronhaar of Baloise Trek Lions.

Ronhaar had set a brisk pace early in the race, leading comfortably for a significant duration. His teammates, Lars van der Haar and Joris Nieuwenhuis endeavoured to disrupt Iserbyt’s chase, but their efforts proved futile against the Belgian’s strength and determination. Iserbyt’s strategic manoeuvring saw him overtake Ronhaar during the penultimate lap, securing a lead that remained unchallenged till the finish line.

Van der Haar, who initially struggled to find his rhythm, eventually climbed his way to a second-place finish, acknowledging Iserbyt’s superiority on the day. Ronhaar, despite his initial dominance, succumbed to the relentless pace, finishing a weary third, narrowly maintaining his podium position against Nieuwenhuis. The race was not without its unique challenges, as riders navigated unexpected obstacles, including ducks on the course. This added an element of unpredictability to the already demanding conditions.

Iserbyt’s victory extends his lead in the World Cup standings, now sitting comfortably with 175 points, followed by Van der Haar at 151 and Ronhaar at 128. The Belgian expressed his satisfaction with the win, especially given the added pressure of competing in the leader’s jersey.

Ronhaar reflected on his performance, acknowledging his strong start but conceding to the superior tempo set by Iserbyt. He admitted to feeling exhausted towards the end, a factor that contributed to his inability to sustain his early lead.

Van der Haar, too, shared insights into his strategy and performance. He emphasised the importance of the upcoming training period in Mallorca, aiming to regain freshness and condition to compete against the imminent challenge posed by fresh competitors like Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, and Tom Pidcock.

2023 Flamanville Men result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Main photo credit: BELGA/Getty

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