Eli Iserbyt Triumphs in Flamanville, Securing Second World Cup Cyclo-cross Series Victory

By Monica Buck

In an exhilarating sixth round of the World Cup Cyclo-cross series, Eli Iserbyt of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal emerged victorious at Flamanville. Battling through challenging conditions, Iserbyt showcased exceptional skill and endurance to clinch his second series victory, maintaining his lead in the overall standings.

Despite a poor start, Iserbyt’s determination saw him fight his way from the back to the forefront, eventually finding his rhythm on the tricky course. “My start was very bad. I had to go through the whole field to get to the front. Then after 30 minutes I found good lines on the track, so I’m pretty happy that I could grow into the race and do a final good set of laps,” Iserbyt reflected.

The race also featured a compelling performance from the Baloise Trek Lions duo, Lars van der Haar and Pim Ronhaar. Van der Haar put on a late surge, surpassing his teammate and others to take second place, 13 seconds behind Iserbyt. This effort elevated him to second in the World Cup standings, pushing Ronhaar to third. “I was struggling a little bit in the first lap, to find my rhythm. Once I had it, I tried to go as fast as I could to the front, but Eli was a little bit faster. In the end he was just the best today. He had it under control,” admitted Van der Haar.

Ronhaar, initially leading solo for over four laps, displayed remarkable resilience but ultimately secured the third spot, 34 seconds behind Van der Haar. He commented on his performance and the intense finish: “I was totally done. I was riding strong lap times, every lap 8:35. I was not feeling that great, but my basic tempo was high. I saw that Eli had a bad start, so I wanted to push from the beginning. Then three laps from the end he sprinted to my wheel and I tried to stay with him, but I was done.”

The race was marked by challenging conditions, with deep mud hindering early advances. Kevin Kuhn initially took the lead in a field of 43 riders, with others like Joris Nieuwenhuis and Niels Vandeputte also making notable appearances. However, as the race progressed, it was the strategic moves and sheer perseverance of Iserbyt that ultimately paid off, earning him the coveted victory.

Reflecting on his win, Iserbyt expressed satisfaction and relief: “It was very important for me to win today. Also, to win in the [World Cup] leader’s jersey is not easy.” His victory in Flamanville solidifies his standing as a formidable competitor in the series, setting the stage for an exciting continuation of the World Cup Cyclo-cross series.

Cyclo-cross – World Cup 2023 | Flamanville, Men’s Elite Race Results

Eli Iserbyt, 1:00:09
Lars van der Haar, +00:13
Pim Ronhaar, +00:47
Joris Nieuwenhuis, +00:54
Niels Vandeputte, +01:23
Kevin Kuhn, +01:36
Emiel Verstrynge, +01:47
Ryan Kamp, +02:04
Jens Adams, +02:16
Joran Wyseure, +02:31