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After four straight seasons as runner-up, Toon Aerts wins X2O Trofee title

Michael Vanthourenhout claims last round

He had a disastrous start to Sunday’s final round of the X2O Badkamers Trofee in Brussels, but Toon Aerts would finish the race as the series winner. Aerts has now taken all three major ‘cross series, claiming last season’s Superprestige crown and the World Cup title two years in a row. On Sunday Michael Vanthourenhout added a X2O triumph to his World Cup Namur victory this season. The Brussels Universities Cyclocross marks the end of C1 cyclocross racing in Europe.

Toon Aerts was sure to hoist the trophy after four consecutive years of being the runner-up. His 7:23 gap over second-place Eli Iserbyt was insurmountable.

It was a good thing Aerts had such a big lead, as he had trouble right from the green light, unclipping, falling over and shuffling to the bottom of the deck.

Series leader Aerts (centre front row) unclips and crashes at the gun.

There was more chaos at the off-camber section. Lar van der Haar was cool enough to pick up Daan Soete’s shades in the mayhem. Round six winner Laurens Sweeck led Corne van Kessel, surprise package Vincent Baestaens and Vanthourenhout by 9-seconds after a 6:10 opening circuit.

Lap 2 saw Sweeck continue to trailblaze, while Vanthourenhout took up Position 2 and opening round winnerIserbyt pulled a short train of chasers. Sweeck and Vanthourenhout created a duo out front, seven seconds ahead of Jens Adams and Iserbyt at the line. Aerts was 41 seconds down.

Sweeck leads teammate Vanthourenhout on Lap 2.

As Adams pressed closer to the two Pauwels Sauzen riders on Lap 3, Vanthourenhout surged away.

Adams finally brought Iserbyt over to Sweeck on Lap 4. Vanthourenhout began to lap riders. Soon Adams was chasing on his own.

On the 5th of 9 laps Adams continued his pursuit, Iserbyt in Position 3 and Sweeck dropping back. Lars van der Haar emerged in Sweeck’s rear view mirror.

Adams (in white) was on his race of the season.

Vanthourenhout’s gap was 41 seconds going into the penultimate lap. The competition was really about the runner-up fight between Adams and Iserbyt. Iserbyt attacked in the second half of the circuit to prevail, but Adams would podium for the first time this season.

Aerts lost around 1:30 to Iserbyt in coming ninth.

2021-2022 X2O Badkamers Trofee, Round 8, Brussels
1) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) 59:34
2) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:24
3) Jens Adams (Belgium) +0:35