Michael Vanthourenhout beats Tom Pidcock in muddy thriller at World Cup Overijse

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Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) gave the Belgian crowd a gritty thriller at the World Cup in Overijs.

Vanthourenhout edged past the world champion in Sunday’s cross-country after a tense back-and-forth battle in the second half of the race. It was the Belgian’s first win since winning the European Championship earlier in the month.

“It was an even better win than the European Championship,” Vanthourenhout said afterwards.

“It was very close with Tom, maybe I was a bit better in the technical sections, but on the hill it was really difficult to follow him. It was a really good battle.”

Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) finished more than 30 seconds behind the two leaders to take the last place on the podium.

Pidcock and Vanthourenhout took center stage in a spectacular race through the legendary Overijse circuit on Sunday. The technical course was made even more difficult by the greasy wet mud after heavy rain overnight and in the morning.

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Pidcock had to chase all the way back through the field in the opening laps when problems with the grid put him at the very back.

“At the start I had problems with the gear changes and I had to chase, and the boots came loose and it was difficult to ride,” Pidcock explained later.

The Rainbow T-shirt raced through traffic to take the lead on lap three from seventh. Vanthourenhout took the lead on the fourth lap and after a crash Pidock was back in the lead.

Pidcock pressed on the penultimate lap to take the lead before a slick crash later on the same circuit gave Vanthourenhout a decisive advantage for victory.

Vanthourenhout held off Pidcock’s pursuit on the final lap to take victory by just three seconds.

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“It was very difficult,” Vanthourenhout said of the final. “I pushed very hard in the last two laps but I saw Tom come very close. But I didn’t make any mistakes. It was difficult, but very beautiful.”

Series leader Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) finished seventh and now has just one point in the overall standings.

Results courtesy of FirstCycling.com

Pieterse masters the mud for his first World Cup win

Pieterse thrived in bad conditions.

Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) claimed his first Elite World Cup victory with a dominant ride in poor conditions earlier on Sunday.

The newly crowned U23 European Champion and U23 World Cup leader pulled away from her opponents and fellow 20-year-olds Fem van Empel (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) in the first round to claim victory. more than one minute.

The technically gifted Pieterse was almost inch perfect on the rutted, rooty, wooded Belgian circuit, filled with rain-soaked descents and mud.

“It was such a cool race but really tough,” Pieterse said.

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“The first pit stop I wanted to be at the front because I knew it was going to be a good run. In the first few laps I took a lot of risks to get the lead, then I just rode my pace and protected it.

Pieterse has finished on the podium in all three World Cup events he has started this season.

Alpecin-Deceuninck’s ace win on Sunday was just the second time series leader Van Empel has missed the World Cup podium as she continues to hold on to the overall leader’s jersey.

World champion Marianne Vos retired before the race after going deep and exploding in the Superprestige Merksplas on Saturday.

“Marianne concluded that it would not be a good idea to cross the limits tomorrow,” the Jumbo-Visma team said on Saturday.

Results courtesy of FirstCycling.com



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