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Iserbyt triumphs in Waterloo World Cup quagmire

Two wins in a row for Belgian in first season at elite level

Eli Iserbyt might have come runner-up in the UCI cyclocross World Cup Under-23 standings over the past two years, but he’ll take an elite World Cup lead into a month’s break after Sunday’s muddy second round in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Iserbyt won both American rounds of the series, with reigning World Cup champion Toon Aerts second in both Iowa and Wisconsin. The top Canadian was Michael van den Ham in 28th.

Iserbyt took the hole shot but Jim Aernouts nabbed the lead, Aerts running third. Soon Gianni Vermeersch and Daan Soete made up the rest of a Belgian leading quartet. By the first pit, Iserbyt and Aerts had distanced the others. Lap 1 was 11:12, with Vermeesch, Soete and Michael Vanthourenhout 12-seconds behind. Canada’s Michael van den Ham moved up a couple of spots into 24th.

Iserbyt and Aerts battled the mud 20-seconds ahead of a trio of pursuers on Lap 2

Iserbyt made a couple of errors near the end of Lap 2 that quickly turned to a 16-second gap for Aerts. Van den Ham was up to 21st.

In the Lap 3 of six, Aerts’ bike found an exposed root and he wiped out. A fall on the log stairs showed how the mud made for chaos. Midway through the race, his lead was 13 seconds. Suddenly, Iserbyt was back.

Aerts slid into a banner on Lap 4 and came to a standstill, giving Iserbyt a 21-second lead.

Iserbyt takes advantage of an Aerts problem on Lap 4 to retake the lead.

Going into the bell lap, Iserbyt’s lead was over a minute. Vermeesch and Vanthourenhout, locked in a podium battle behind Aerts.

The gaps were huge. Michael van den Ham was still racing 9:00 later, taking 28th.

Michael van den Ham (centre) battles at the end of the race.

The World Cup now takes a month long break before the third round in Bern, Switzerland.

2019-2020 UCI Cyclocross World Cup Round 2, Waterloo, Wisconsin, Elite Men

1) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) 1:08:28
2) Toon Aerts (Belgium/Telenet Baloise Lions) +1:08
3) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +1:23
28) Michael van den Ham (Canada/Easton-Giant) +9:29