Tom Pidcock wins in Rucphen after a lightening fast final lap
Saturday 18 December 2021
British rider Tom Pidcock was the winner in Rucphen. In the last lap he caught and passed teammates Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout.
European champion Lars van der Haar had the best start in Rucphen. The Dutchman set the pace in the first lap with compatriot David van der Poel on his wheel. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) did not fare well at the start of the race. After the start, they had to be satisfied with the 17th and 18th positions.
Several riders tried to force a difference, but nobody managed to get away. It was not until the end of the third lap that Pidcock started to make his move. He immediately took the lead and accelerated, but he too was unable to pull away. At the start of lap five we had a lead group of 11 riders.
With three laps to go, Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) accelerated. He took Pidcock and his teammate Michael Vanthourenhout with him, but not much later Toon Aerts brought everyone back. On the penultimate lap Iserbyt again raced fiercely away. Michael Vanthourenhout followed in his tracks, Pidcock had to concede a gap.
Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout did everything they could to stop Pidcock from coming back on the last lap, but bit by bit the Brit closed in. He passed Vanthourenhout before the sandy stretch and just before the final straight he rolled passed Iserbyt. For Pidcock, it is the first UCI cyclo-cross World Cup victory of his career. Iserbyt, who remains leader in the classification, and Vanthourenhout joined him on the podium.