There was a top-of-the-table fight in the fourth round of the 2023-2024 UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Troyes, France, as second-place Eli Iserbyt hunted down leader Lars van der Haar to claim his first victory of the series on Sunday. By triumphing, Iserbyt takes over the series lead by a single point. Joris Nieuwenhuis completed a fine weekend in which he won Saturday’s Superprestige race and podiumed on Sunday.
The Situation Before Sunday
Three different chaps had won the first three rounds, with Round 2 victor van der Haar leading Iserbyt by nine points.
Ryan Kamp grabbed the first lead on the new course on Lap 1, Niels Vandeputte on his six. The string was long in the early going. Vandeputte, fresh off of the podium of Saturday’s Superprestige race, grabbed the reins before van der Haar took over. Iserbyt had to make his way from 12 spots back. Seven fellows formed the front group that finished the first circuit.
Van der Haar flew away at the start of Lap 2, and the chase group grew. Gerben Kuypers was van der Haar’s closest pursuer. Iserbyt had toiled his way through the field to Position 3. Van der Haar finished the circuit seven seconds before Kuypers.
On Lap 3 of 8, Iserbyt and Kuypers freed themselves of the other chasers. The gap was 10 seconds by the line.
Iserbyt endeavoured to drop Kuypers on Lap 4, going clear midway through the circuit. He clipped van der Haar’s lead to seven seconds.
The two leaders came together at the beginning of Lap 5 after van der Haar took a fresh machine. Iserbyt immediately tried to rid himself of the World Cup leader. Kuypers held a small advantage over Nieuwenhuis for the final podium spot.
Lap 6 was where Iserbyt pushed away from van der Haar.
Nieuwenhuis and Kuypers merged and scrapped for the podium on the penultimate lap with Kamp looming in the background. Van der Haar couldn’t make inroads into Iserbyt’s lead.
When they heard the bell, Kuypers was three seconds in arrears of Nieuwenhuis. Iserbyt would not be denied his first World Cup victory and fourth win of the season.
The next round is next Sunday in Dublin, Ireland.
2023-2024 UCI Cyclocross World Cup, Round 4, Troyes
1) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal) 56:35
2) Lars van der Haar (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:10
3) Joris Nieuwenhuis (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +1:29