Quinten Hermans was the best in the quagmire at Wednesday’s second round of the 2021-2022 ‘cross World Cup in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was Hermans’ first elite World Cup victory. The podium contained the same riders as Sunday’s opening round in Wisconsin, but with Hermans first instead of third. Neither Wout Van Aert nor Mathieu van der Poel are racing the three rounds in the United States of America. The top Canadian was Michael van den Ham in 27th, with Brody Sanderson in 29th.
The Canadian contingent
There were five Canadians in the elite men’s race in Fayetteville: Michael van den Ham, Hugo Brisebois, Matt Leliveld, Lief Rodgers and Brody Sanderson.
Daan Soete was an early leader on Lap 1. It was pouring rain.
Toon Aerts, Quinten Hermans and Michael Vanthourenhout started to put distance between themselves and the column on Lap 2, with Iserbyt having to chase with Corne Van Kessel. Matt Leliveld was having a good race at 25th with van den Ham close behind before the two switched places. At first Vanthourenhout lost contact but both he and Iserbyt finished the second lap within touching distance of Aerts and Hermans.
Lap 3 saw Iserbyt find the front with Hermans. Van den Ham kept steady at 25th with Brody Sanderson starting to climb the ladder. Hermans took his leave of Iserbyt.
Hermans was rolling hot and put Vanthourenhout, Aerts and Iserbyt 37 seconds in arrears on Lap 4. By the start of Lap 6, Vanthourenhout’s long run to the pits after a mechanical looked like it put him out of the podium picture and Hermans was long gone.
Vanthrourenhout came back admirably, and on Lap 7 he had replaced Aerts as Iserbyt’s podium pal. In the battle for the second step Iserbyt prevailed, which meant that he would keep the World Cup lead.
The next World Cup is Sunday in Iowa. Most of the riders will be back in Fayetteville on January 29 and 30 for the World Championships.
2021-2022 UCI Cyclocross World Cup Round 2, Fayetteville
1) Quinten Hermans (Belgium/Tormans-Circus) 54:55
2) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:37
3) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen) +0:49
27) Michael van den Ham (Canada/Easton-Giant-Garneau) +5:24
29) Brody Sanderson (Canada) +6:06
36) Matt Leliveld (Canada)
38) Lief Rodgers (Canada)
41) Hugo Brisebois (Canada)