Emotional Vanthourenhout wins hard round in Namur
Sunday 19 December 2021
A wonderful victory for Michael Vanthourenhout today on the Citadelle de Namur. After a long race chasing, he was able to pull away from top favourite Tom Pidcock in lap 5. After a few slips by the latter, he managed to beat the young Briton by more than half a minute in the 11th round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.
From lap 1, the road to victory seemed open for Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions). He immediately put an elite group of chasers a few seconds behind. At an unseen pace, he was able to maintain his lead for a few laps. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), who started to overtake the other men from behind, was right on his heels until lap 4.
After a slide and flat tyre for Aerts, he had to let the British champion go. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) also jumped from the background over Aerts. And Quinten Hermans (Tormans Circus Cyclo Cross), who was also riding a strong race, had to let the men in front go due to problems with his shoes.
For a moment it looked like Pidcock would race solo to victory, but after a few technical errors it was on and on for Vanthourenhout who saw his lead on the Briton increase in the last two laps. With tears in his eyes, Vanthourenhout crossed the finish line of the 11th round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Namur after seven incredibly hard laps. Tom Pidcock finished second at 36 seconds, followed by Toon Aerts at 51 seconds.