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Weekend CX roundup: Last World Cup of year was best one yet

Crashes and drama in both men’s and women’s races

The final UCI Cyclocross World Cup of the year was most likely the most exciting event yet. Eli Iserbyt and Marianne Vos took the wins in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, both of the contests coming down to the wire. There were crashes, attacks and even a Pheasant in the final round on Sunday, leading up to next weekend’s world championships in Fayetteville, Ark.


It looked like Tom Pidcock was going to sail to a win in Sunday’s final round of the World Cup after a crash held up his rivals, but Eli Iserbyt showed why he’s the 2021-2022 series titlist with a gripping win in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. Iserbyt got revenge on Pidcock for the Rucphen round a week before the World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Iserbyt had already wound up his first World Cup title, leading teammate Michael Vanthourenhout by 110 points going into the final round. Iserbyt had won six of the 14 rounds before Hoogerheide. Six other fellows had taken rounds as well.

The field charged up the hill after the gun and Ryan Kamp impressively snatched the hole shot. Round 2 winner Quinten Hermans was on his wheel. Round six champ Lars van der Haar then became the train’s engine. He led Hermans, Kamp and Corne van Kessel over the line to end Lap 1.

On the third of nine laps Hermans took his turn on the front. Pidcock was up to third, nine seconds back and leading a group containing van Kessel, Toon Aerts, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout. Aerts had a painful looking biff on the barriers. Pidcock made the junction before the line.

Pidcock was far ahead of Vanthourenhout and van der Haar heading into Lap 5. Iserbyt joined the chasers but the trio wasn’t making inroads into the Brit’s gap.

On the sixth and seventh laps, the only remaining competition seemed to be for the podium, with two Pauwels Sauzen riders facing a Baloise Trek Lion. Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout dropped off van der Haar, who ricocheted off a barrier in pursuit, and then it was Vanthourenhout’s turn to get the planks wrong.

Iserbyt attacked when he heard the bell, just as Aerts was approaching the quartet. Iserbyt dashed away again and Pidcock led the pursuit. This is what the edge of your seat is for. Pidcock simply couldn’t run down the Belgian in the final kilometre, and van der Haar did well to come runner-up. Iserbyt’s first overall title comes after he led the World Cup through the whole series.

1) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) 1:00:18
2) Lars van der Haar (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:02
3) Tom Pidcock (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +0:03


Marianne Vos swapped her Jumbo-Visma jersey for a Dutch champion’s kit since her last World Cup, and in final round of the 2021-2022 series in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, AKA the GP Adrie van der Poel, she earned her fourth triumph out of 15 races with a strong attack on the final lap. Runner-up Lucinda Brand wrapped up her second consecutive World Cup title.

Vos, Fem van Empel and Eva Lechner all had strong starts on Lap 1. Inge van der Heijden nabbed the early lead, with Vos in Position 2. Kata Blanka Vas and Shirin van Anrooij both took their turns doing the pace making. Vas led over the line.

On the third of seven laps Pieterse pushed to open a gap. Brand, Vos and van Empel were her closest pursuers. Vas laboured to sew it up. When Brand grabbed the reins, van Empel had to scramble to reestablish contact. Pieterse attacked at the end of the lap.

Vas took the reins at the start of Lap 5. Van Anrooij was the quintet’s lone chaser. Riders started being lapped. Brand lost a couple of metres at the back of the string but returned before the stairs.

At the beginning of the penultimate lap Brand accelerated. Vas had trouble keeping contact. Then Brand and Vos departed from Pieterse and van Empel, with only Pieterse making it back.

Puck made a surge early in the bell lap, and the World Champion momentarily lost the wheels. Pieterse really wanted it but Vos waited for the right moment to skip away, quickly opening a huge gap. Brand was runner-up and Pieterse earned her sixth 2021-2022 World Cup podium.

1) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) 52:14
2) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:10
3) Puck Pieterse (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Fenix) +0:11