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 muddy thriller to enjoy at World Cup Overijse.

Vanthourenhout pulled ahead of the world cross champion on Sunday 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 title earlier in the month.

“It was a better win than the European championships,” Vanthourenhout said afterwards.

“I was very close to Tom and maybe a bit better in the technical parts, but it was very difficult to follow him on the climb. It was a really good fight.”

Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) finished on the last step of the podium, more than 30 seconds behind the two leaders.

Pidcock and Vanthourenhout took center stage on Sunday in a scintillating race around the iconic Overijse course. After heavy rain during the night and morning, oily wet mud made the technical circuit even more difficult.

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Pidcock had to run from the back of the field in the opening laps after problems leaving the starting grid put him at the back of the pack.

Pidcock further explained: “I had a problem with the gear change at the start and had to chase it, and also my shoe came loose and it was difficult to ride.”

The rainbow jersey worked through traffic and took the lead on the third lap of seven. Vanthourenhout took the lead through the fourth lap before bringing Pidok back into the lead shortly after the crash.

Pidcock forced the pressure from the final lap and held a slim lead until later in the same lap he crashed into some slick cobblestones giving Vanthourenhout a crucial winning advantage.

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

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“It was very difficult,” Vanthourenhout said of the final. “In the last two laps I pushed hard, but I saw that Tom was getting very close. But I didn’t do anything wrong. It was difficult, but it was very nice.”

Series leader Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) finished seventh and is now just one point behind.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Pieterse masters the mud for his first World Cup victory

Pieterse thrived in poor conditions.

Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) secured his first elite World Cup victory on Sunday with a dominant ride in previously poor conditions.

The newly crowned U23 European champion and U23 World Cup leader pulled away from arch-rivals and fellow 20-year-olds Fem van Empel (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) in the first lap. more than a minute.

Technical super-talent Pieterse was near-perfect on the rooty, wooded Belgian course, with potholes full of wet descents and sloppy mud.

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

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“I wanted to be in the lead on the first descent into Pits because I knew my descent was going to be good. I took too many risks in the first few laps to get the advantage, then I drove my pace and kept safe.”

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

The Alpecin-Deceuninck ace’s victory on Sunday continued to keep the overall leader’s form intact as series dominator Van Empel failed to reach the World Cup podium for only the second time.

World champion Marianne Vos pulled out before the race after going deep and blowing up at the Superprestige Merksplas on Saturday.

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

Results powered by FirstCycling.com



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