The Memorial Radomir Simunek in the Dutch town of Gieten, named after the Czech 1991 world champion Radomir Simunek Sr., kicked off a new Superprestige cyclocross season. Forest tracks, muddy run-ups and lots of sand are what awaited the riders today.
Gianni Vermeersch (Steylaerts-Betfirst) was the rider with a storming start in today’s Superprestige Gieten. A little gap opened up, but a flat tire soon thwarted his plans.
It was Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal ) who ended the first lap in first position, with Joris Nieuwenhuis (Sunweb), Quinten Hermans (Telenet-Baloise Lions) and Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) on his wheel.
In the second lap, U23 world champion Tom Pidcock (TP racing) went down on the stairs. Meanwhile, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Baloise Lions) and Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) joined the four leaders to make it a group of seven. At the end of the lap, the 7-headed leading group had an 8 seconds advantage on Jens Adams (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and teammates Lars van der Haar and Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions).
Aerts then started putting some serious effort into the chase to close the gap. Once they arrived at the stairs where Pidcock crashed, Aerts had made contact with the tail of the leading group, but in the front Soete and Iserbyt had started pushing. By the end of the 3rd lap, they had a 7-seconds advantage.
Aerts would have to start another hunt, but it was teammate Hermans who closed the gap. Once again, Iserbyt raised the pace. Hermans was the only one able to follow. By the end of the 4th lap, they had a 14 seconds advantage on the 7-headed chasing group.
As the race evolved, Iserbyt started putting more and more pressure. By the end of lap 6, Hermans had bent but not broken yet. Teammate Aerts had left the other chasers behind but had a 26 seconds arrear.
At the end of lap 7, Aerts had brought back his arrear to 10 seconds. It was the sign for Iserbyt to put the hammer down again. An error on a bridge, though, dropped his pace. For the first time, Aerts made contact with the front of the race halfway through lap 8. It was two Lions against Iserbyt now.
Quinten Hermans held the lead, as Aerts tried to move up to second towards the end of lap 9. Doing that his pace was a little too high going into one of the sandy corners on the track. Aerts’ bike gave up on him and there was a long way to run to the pit.
It was one against one with one lap left.
On one of the run-ups, Iserbyt accelerated. A gap opened and the gap kept opening as Iserbyt gave everything he had left. This time Hermans did break, and Iserbyt solidified his advantage.
The 21-year-old took his 4th win of the season. Hermans fought strong but he had to be happy with second.
“Before my decisive acceleration, I had already tried twice, but I made a stupid mistake every time. When Toon Aerts joined us, I knew I definitely had to try something in the last lap. Just when he shouted to Quinten (Hermans) that he could go, his chain dropped. That was a little bit of luck for me, but that’s part of it,” Iserbyt said. (translated, source: Sporza)
Van Kessel took third in a sprint with van der Haar. Ninth place went to Aerts who lost valuable points because of the mechanical troubles he faced in the second to last lap.
Full results are below. For more from Gieten, see our Women’s race report.
Elite Men Results: 2019 Superprestige Gieten
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|
|4||5||VAN DER HAAR||Lars||NED||1:04:56|
|27||63||VAN DER HEIJDEN||Maik||NED||1:10:44|
|28||54||VAN DEN BROECK||Arno||BEL||LAP|
|53||29||FERNANDEZ RODRIGUEZ||Sergio Ivan||ESP||LAP|
|DNF||12||VAN DER POEL||David||NED|