When he took the start line on Friday at the Trek CX Cup, Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea Lions) wanted to put on a good show on the grounds of the company that sponsors his team.
After 60 minutes of racing on a windy, overcast day in Waterloo, Hermans accomplished his goal in impressive fashion.
Hermans took the holeshot and led early on against a field filled with international riders looking for a practice run before Sunday’s World Cup. Hermans’ blistering pace created a four-rider split by the end of the first lap, and then half a lap later it was just him and Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice) at the front.
In the fifth lap, Soete dabbed a foot on a corner after the barn flyover, and Hermans was gone. The Telenet Fidea Lion roared to a 13-second gap at the end of the lap and held his advantage for the remainder of the 10-lap race.
Hermans’ win was the first by a Telenet Fidea Lion rider in the three years the team has raced in Waterloo.
“We really like being here, so we put a little pressure on ourselves,” Hermans said. “It’s really nice to be here at Trek, and the nice atmosphere helped us ride our bikes faster.”
Cool Weather, Hot Racing
On a cool, windy, overcast afternoon in Waterloo, Quinten Hermans wasted little time getting off to a fast start. The Belgian rider took the holeshot and then drove the pace early in the race. For the first half of the first lap, a long line of riders strung out behind him.
Hermans’ pace at the front helped break the race up in the latter half of the first lap. With one trip around the course in the books, a lead selection of Hermans, Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice), Eli Iserbyt (Marlux – Bingoal) and Thijs Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) was off the front.
Hermans and Soete wasted little time in the second lap dropping the other two riders with them. Over the next two laps, Aerts was the lead chaser and then Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice), and then Aerts, Sweeck, Corne Van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions) and Tom Meeusen (Corendon-Circus).
At the end of four laps, Soete and Hermans had over 15 seconds on the four chasers.
Hermans Goes Solo
In the fifth lap, it was the time for Hermans to fulfill his mission of representing for Trek at Trek. Shortly after the barn flyover, Soete dabbed his foot on a corner. Hermans attacked and quickly had a gap. It was time for him to go.
“The fourth or fifth lap down, Daan (Soete) took over and he was setting the pace a little bit lower,” Hermans said. “I thought maybe it’s time to go full gas again. I put him under pressure and got a small gap, so I kept making it bigger and bigger. I’m very happy with that.”
When the 5th of 10 laps was over, Hermans had a 13-second lead on Soete.
“I was with all the guys from Telenet, and in the second lap I was thinking I should go full throttle and try to get away with a few guys,” Soete said. “It was only Quinten who went on my wheel, but I felt like I went over my limit early. I made one mistake and Quinten was gone.”
Meeusen and Van Kessel were chasing over 30 seconds behind Soete.
The first two positions stayed static for the rest of the race. With the win, Hermans accomplished his goal of putting a show.
With Hermans gone down the course, Soete settled in for second.
In the chase for third, Van Kessel and Meeusen stayed together into the bell lap. Sweeck came roaring back to them inside the bell lap with a big effort up the hill toward the flyover. The three riders hit the last corner in line, and Van Kessel got the jump on the sprint by getting there first and taking the third podium spot.
Drew Dillman (SDG – Muscle Monster) led the U.S. contingent in 11th. Jack Kisseberth (Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions LifeCare) took 13th, and local hero Caleb Swartz (Linear Sport Racing Team) had an impressive ride for 15th.
Interviews, results and a photo gallery are below.
Photos by Dave Mable and Robert Clark
Quinten Hermans: Men’s Winner
Daan Soete: Men’s Second Place
Photo Gallery: 2018 Men’s Trek CX Cup