Belgium flexed its collective muscles at the Trek CX Cup C2 race on Friday, with Daan Soete and Thijs Aerts charging away from the largely American field to take first and second, cheered on by teammates who are saving their legs for the Sunday World Cup.
Behind them, though, there was a race.
Lance Haidet took off from the start, and after his fast first lap and the Belgians escaped, it was a fight for third.
“It’s the battle of the North Americans,” the announcer was overheard saying as a group of five hammered around the course in a red-white-and-blue train. Stephen Hyde led things off, towing Kerry Werner, Tobin Ortenblad and Haidet away from the rest of the field.
Michael Van Den Ham chased on after a mishap while bunny-hopping the barriers left him on the ground. He ran the barriers every following lap.
Eventually, the group of five, became four, then three.
“I was into getting rid of Hyde,” said Werner after the race. “He looked like he was hurting, and I don’t know how Tobin (Ortenblad) hung in there, but he sure did.”
First off the back of the five was Haidet, and eventually Hyde lost contact, leaving Werner, Ortenblad and Van Dem Ham to duke it out. Van Den Ham, though running the barriers while the others rode them, took the pointy end of the train, trying to get rid of his companions, as well as trying to close the gap to Aerts.
The three never caught Aerts, though they did come close, but they stayed together deep into the final lap.
“I crashed on lap three, crossing the barriers and it got in my head,” said Van Den Ham. “I was unwilling to do it the rest of the race. I don’t know what the gap was, but I felt like I was losing like four or five bike lengths every time.”
Werner took advantage of that on the final lap and distanced himself from Van Den Ham with a quarter lap to go, taking the final step of the podium. Ortenblad also had a strong final lap, and wound up fourth.
“I felt good today, I never felt like I was going to come off” said Ortenblad. “It hurt bad, but I knew I could get gapped on the stabby stuff, but I could always roll back, so yeah. Feeling really good with this.”
Looking ahead to Sunday, there will be more Belgians in the start grid, with the likes of Toon Aerts, Quentin Hermans, Thibau Nys, as well as the tough Dutch squad including Corne Van Kessel, Lars Van Der Haar and Gosse Van Der Meer. Add to that Marcel Meisen (German, Michael Van Den Ham (Canadian) and Felipe Timoteo Nystrom Spencer (Columbia) and it will be a truly international World Cup.
Stay tuned for full coverage.
Photo gallery below the results.
2021 Trek Cyclocross Cup: Elite Men Results, UCI C2
|1||12||Daan SOETE||Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers||1:02:33.||6:27.||10|
|2||11||Thijs AERTS||Baloise Trek Lions||1:03:12.||6:24.||10|
|3||1||Kerry WERNER||Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team||1:03:16.||6:10.||10|
|4||22||Tobin ORTENBLAD||Santa Cruz Bicycles||1:03:20.||6:13.||10|
|5||9||Michael VAN DEN HAM||Easton-Giant p/b Transitions Li||1:03:30.||6:24.||10|
|6||2||Stephen HYDE||Steve Tilford Foundation Racing||1:04:31.||6:28.||10|
|7||4||Lance HAIDET||L39ION of Los Angeles||1:04:39.||6:37.||10|
|9||7||Scott FUNSTON||Blue Competition Cycles p/b Bui||1:05:32.||6:54.||10|
|10||10||Gosse VAN DER MEER||Bombtrack Bicycles||1:05:44.||6:38.||10|
|11||48||Matt LELIVELD||Hardwood NextWave||1:06:04.||6:37.||10|
|12||34||Casey HILDEBRANDT||Donkey Label + Broken Spoke||1:06:11.||6:36.||10|
|13||51||Brian MATTER||Linear Sport Racing||1:06:12.||6:37.||10|
|14||29||Mark MYLES||Be Real Sports||1:06:29.||6:51.||10|
|15||54||Jonathan ANDERSON||J moneyz factory racin||1:07:13.||7:01.||10|
|16||40||Tommy SERVETAS||Comp Edge Racing||1:07:19.||6:57.||10|
|17||20||Nicholas LANDO||Comp Edge Racing||1:07:32.||6:44.||10|
|18||58||Nicholas F TABARES||ASU Devo Pro CX||1:07:39.||6:43.||10|
|19||53||Dillon MCNEILL||Trek Cyclocross Collective||1:07:44.||6:46.||10|
|20||18||Finnegan OCONNOR||Comp Edge Racing||1:07:50.||6:53.||10|
|21||56||Luke ARENS||Adapt Cycling||1:08:22.||7:04.||10|
|22||33||Lief RODGERS||Giant Canada Off-Road Team||1:08:28.||7:01.||10|
|23||39||Ryder UETRECHT||ASU Development ProCX||1:08:47.||7:25.||10|
|24||47||Jacob LEBLANC||Comp Edge Racing||1:09:29.||8:00.||10|
|25||23||Andrew GINIAT||The Pony Shop p/b KPMG||54:25.||6:45.||8|
|26||25||Nick CARTER||NorthStar Development||54:25.||6:46.||8|
|27||35||Isaac NEFF||Neff Cycle Service||54:25.||6:21.||8|
|28||13||Marcel MEISEN||Alpecin - Fenix||46:28.||6:55.||7|
|29||16||Brian WEST||Phoenix syndicate||48:05.||6:47.||7|
|31||43||Matthew RILEY||Linear Sport / Trek||48:05.||6:34.||7|
|32||28||Seamus OCONNOR-WALKER||Donkey Label||48:05.||6:00.||7|
|33||36||Owen BRENNEMAN||CXHAIRS DEVO : TREK BIKES||48:05.||6:19.||7|
|34||38||Jeremy BLOYD-PESHKIN||The Pony Shop p/b KPMG||48:05.||6:06.||7|
|35||49||Peter SWINAND||The Pony Shop p/b KPMG||42:05.||7:02.||6|
|36||26||Dakota OLSEN||Olathe Subaru||42:05.||6:59.||6|
|37||57||Thomas FULLER||Lindenwood University||42:05.||6:28.||6|
|38||19||Felipe Timoteo NYSTROM SPENCER||Costa Rica||42:05.||6:30.||6|
|39||50||Nicholas LEMKE||KUHL Cycling Team||42:05.||6:29.||6|
|40||42||Nathan KNOWLES||ASU Development ProCX||42:05.||6:59.||6|
|41||41||Jesse RIENTS||KUHL Cycling Team||42:05.||6:22.||6|
|42||27||Jamie WILLIAMS||Marian University||35:44.||7:09.||5|
|43||17||Orion CHILD||Velo Childeric||35:44.||7:06.||5|
|44||46||Yannick MAYER||SRAM Germany Schweinfurt||35:58.||7:57.||5|
|45||24||Luke FEUERHELM||KCCX Elite Cyclocross Team||36:17.||7:25.||5|
|46||32||Henry MCALVANAH||Trek Cyclocross Colletive||30:52.||8:20.||4|
|47||37||Tyler REYNOLDS||Trek Cyclocross Collective||22:33.||7:16.||3|
|48||55||Owen ROGERS||Lindenwood University||23:41.||8:14.||3|
|DNF||5||Andrew STROHMEYER||CX Hairs Devo: Trek Bikes||7:35.||6|
|DNS||8||Sam NOEL||Competitive Edge Racing||0|
|DNS||30||Joseph SCHMALZ||Steve Tilford Foundation Racing||0|
|DNS||31||Daxton MOCK||Trek Cyclocross Collective||0|
|DNS||45||Ian LOPEZ DE SAN ROMAN||Bear National / WCX||0|
|DNS||52||Drew BUBLITZ||Avout Racing||0|