Eli Iserbyt displayed remarkable resilience and strategic nous to clinch his first World Cup season victory in Troyes, overcoming a challenging start and a puncture. Lars Van der Haar, representing Baloise Trek Lions, initially led the race, creating a significant gap. However, Iserbyt, riding for Pauwels-Bingoal, managed to bridge the gap in the fifth lap and eventually took the lead. Iserbyt’s superior technique and persistence in the technical sections allowed him to gradually extend his lead over Van der Haar, who finished second, 10 seconds adrift. Joris Nieuwenhuis, also from Baloise Trek Lions, completed the podium in third place, 1:29 behind Iserbyt.
Reflecting on his performance, Iserbyt expressed satisfaction with his physical condition despite the early setback of a flat tire. He tactically waited for the right moment to overtake Van der Haar, capitalising on a bike change to take control of the race. Iserbyt’s victory places him at the top of the World Cup standings, narrowly leading by a single point over Van der Haar, who is set to skip the next round in Dublin.
The Troyes World Cup saw strong participation from top riders, although Michael Vanthourenhout was notably absent due to illness. Gerben Kuypers surprised many with a strong start, and Ryan Kamp initially led the race before being overtaken by Van der Haar. Kuypers attempted to close the gap but eventually fell behind, with Nieuwenhuis moving up to fourth.
The race between Van der Haar and Iserbyt was closely contested, with Iserbyt ultimately seizing the opportunity to break away and secure the win. Nieuwenhuis, after his victory at the Superprestige Merksplas, managed to overtake Kuypers to claim third, rounding off a highly successful weekend.
Van der Haar, despite his initial lead and strong performance, acknowledged Iserbyt’s superiority on the day, admitting that Iserbyt’s tactical acumen and better line choices in technical sections were decisive. Nieuwenhuis echoed the sentiment of a challenging race but was pleased with his progress and his ability to execute better lines, which proved advantageous.
The World Cup event in Troyes highlighted the intense competition and tactical depth in cyclocross, with Iserbyt’s victory underscoring his status as a formidable competitor in the sport.
2023 World Cup Troyes Men result
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Main photo credit: Getty Images