In the last race of the 2021 UEC Continental Cyclocross Championships, after only a Junior Men's title from the weekend, seven Belgians took their turn in the front group to ensure the European championship jersey remained on the team.
One by one they faded from the lead, until halfway through the race it looked like Quinten Hermans had a commanding lead that would stick.
Behind, a patient Lars van der Haar hoped to overcome a deficit he suffered from an early bike change, and overcome the Belgian armada and bring back the jersey to the Netherlands and his closet after taking the first-ever UEC title in 2015.
With two laps to go, Van der Haar closed the gap on Hermans. With one bad corner by Hermans, Van der Haar was finally at the front and wouldn't look back.
Hermans lost ground to the Dutchman over the final two laps but would finish second. Vanthourenhout rolled in for third.
Van der Haar is the second Dutch Baloise Trek Lions rider to win the 2021 Elite UEC title after Lucinda Brand's dominant win on Saturday. It was van der Haars first victory in over two years.
Full results below. See the results from the Junior Women's race and thrilling U23 Men's race here.
2021 UEC European Cyclocross Championships Results: Elite Men
|1||9||VAN DER HAAR Lars||NED||1:01:44||-|
|17||13||ORTS LLORET Felipe||ESP||1:07:00||+5:16|
|19||21||BERTOLINI Gioele||ITA||-1 LAP|
|20||11||GODRIE Stan||NED||-1 LAP|
|21||26||BOROŠ Michael||CZE||-2 LAP|
|22||27||VANÍCEK Šimon||CZE||-2 LAP|
|23||24||ANDERLE Florian||GER||-2 LAP|
|24||20||LÜTHI Eric||SUI||-3 LAP|
|25||25||HAMM Florian||GER||-4 LAP|
|26||29||ERIKSSON David||SWE||-4 LAP|
|10||VAN KESSEL Corne||NED||DNF|
|14||FEIJOO ALBERTE Ivan||ESP||DNF|