Vanthourenthout wins first World Cup in Tabor
Sunday 29 November 2020
The first round in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup ends with a completely Belgian podium. Michael Vanthourenhout takes the win, in front of team mate and European champions Eli Iserbyt and Wout Van Aert.
It's a matter of time until halfway through the race before we finally see separation in front. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels-Sauzen) tries it for a second time and now manages to drop the rest of the leading group. With the line in sight at the end of lap four, it is Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who takes the initiative.
But he does not manage to close the gap, after Van Aert it is the turn of last season's World Cup winner, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions). Just like Van Aert, he feels Eli Iserbyt (Pauwel-Sauzen Bingoal) breathing down his neck.
Neither Van Aert, nor Aerts manages to close the gap with Vanthourenhout. European champion Iserbyt sees his opportunity and goes with two and a half laps to go alone in the pursuit of his teammate. Among the chasers, Aerts now also tries to go alone in the chase. There is no longer a large group behind Vanthourenhout.
Iserbyt is getting meter by meter closer to Vanthourenhout after a good effort. At the start of the penultimate lap we have a duo of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in the lead. In the pursuit Aerts and Van Aert battle for third place. The race situation does not change in the penultimate round and so we enter the final round with two duos.
Iserbyt has to close a gap on Vanthourenhout, after a mistake at the start of the final lap. Errors also happen with the chasers. Aerts has to set foot after a small movement of Van Aert and therefore has to let him go. At the front it is Vanthourenhout who constantly puts pressure on his teammate Iserbyt. He doesn't give up his limited lead anymore and takes the win on the course where he became world champion in the U23 category five years ago. Teammate Iserbyt is second and Wout Van Aert finishes third.
For Vanthourenhout it is the first victory in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in his career and he is automatically the first leader this season.