Eli Iserbyt has won the World Cup heat in Besançon, France. He won a captivating duel with Toon Aerts on the mud course. Iserbyt solidifies its position as the World Cup leader. The rest followed after a minute and a half: the young Pim Ronhaar was penalty third.

Laurens Van Heuverswijn

Today at 16:10

Eli Iserbyt took the lead in the French city, where the mud dominated the course. It soon became apparent that the match would be a duel between the men in shape in cyclo-cross country: Iserbyt and Toon Aerts. The opposition was set at over half a minute in the first (big) round. Surprisingly, the first pursuer was called U23 world champion Pim Ronhaar.

Moments later, the young Dutchman was joined by Michael Vanthourenhout, who had recovered after his cold. At the front, Aerts and Iserbyt did not give each other an inch. On every slope and on every slant they tried to kill each other, but the two leaders were unable to throw the other loose.


Aerts wanted to get rid of his competitor on the straight sections, but he was always the better one on the edges and thus withstood the pressure of the tall guy from Rijkevorsel. Only in the penultimate lap was the strong Aerts able to distance himself from Iserbyt a few times, but the West Fleming fought back like a pit bull. Aerts slid away on a descending muddy stretch, Iserbyt passed him and Aerts tried to slightly hinder his competitor. Iserbyt just got away and took the lead en route to the final lap.

The world cup leader took eight seconds, but Aerts did not give in and narrowed the gap. Until he slipped again on a pole and had to give in again for a few seconds. Iserbyt itself went down on a scree, after which the chain came off and the last hectometers were still exciting. Iserbyt still made it, after an exciting duel with his eternal competitor this season. Aerts was disappointed second, the young Ronhaar third.

Top ten:

  1. Eli Iserbyt

  2. Show Aerts

  3. Pim Ronhaar (Ned)

  4. Michael Vanthourenhout

  5. Corné van Kessel (Ned)

  6. Niels Vandeputte

  7. Tom Meeusen

  8. Show Vandebosch

  9. Marcel Meisen (Dui)

  10. Laurens Sweeck

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