By: Zach Nehr
Nommay World Cup
Eli Iserbyt won a thrilling men’s Elite race in Nommay, France ahead of his Belgian compatriots, Toon Aerts and Laurens Sweeck. In the absence of Mathieu van der Poel – who usually puts on a one-man show – Iserbyt and Aerts put on a two-man show after riding clear of the field on just the second lap of the race. A few laps later, Aerts was able to gap Iserbyt, quickly building up a 15-second advantage in the process. But Iserbyt fought back, and with just a few laps to go, the Belgian pair were together again. On his courageous ride, Iserbyt said, “Phew. I really had to dig very deep. I knew it would be a very long race. Halfway through the race Toon was going strong while I had to shift back and find my rhythm again.”
As the race entered its finale, it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top. Aerts had led early, Iserbyt fought back, Aerts took the lead again, but then Iserbyt again came to the fore. With less than a lap to go, Aerts had a slight gap over Iserbyt, but a steep and muddy hill put the duo back on terms, and Iserbyt immediately counterattacked. Iserbyt’s attack was enough to crack Aerts, who settled for second place on the day, and kept his overall lead in the World Cup. In a post-race interview with Telenet Play Sports, Iserbyt said, “[Nommay] was the hardest one to win. This was a beautiful course. It’s really slippery. That’s good for me. I’m really happy with this win. One more week of training and from there I have to hope for a super day at the World Championships.”
Over a minute after Iserbyt crossed the finish line, Sweeck rolled across as best of the rest. After a poor second lap, the brawny Belgian had regained his form in the chase group, before leaving them behind for good on the race’s seventh lap. Lars van der Haar finished fourth and Tom Pidcock finished fifth.
Annemarie Worst ended Ceylin Carmen del Alvarado’s win streak in the penultimate round of the 2019-2020 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Nommay after a three-way battle went down to the wire. Worst led in the opening laps along with Belgian rider, Ellen Van Loy, and 20-year-old French champion Marion Norbert-Riberolle who impressed in front of home crowds. Alvarado, who entered Sunday with a flawless win streak in 2020, had a poor start in Nommay, and struggled to rediscover both her physical and technical form on the slippery course. She eventually made her way to the head of the race, and midway through it was Worst, Alvarado, and 41 year-old American, Katie Compton, who were clear of the rest of the field. Compton attacked inside two laps to go, but was unable to shake her rivals. The trio battled deep into the finale, and as they entered the finishing straight, it was Worst who was in the lead. Alvarado couldn’t come around her Dutch compatriot, and with Compton gapped, Worst flew across the line to win the Nommay World Cup.
Alvarado did just enough to hold her World Cup lead ahead of Worst who is now just five points behind. Katerina Nash finished twelfth in Nommay, padding her third place in the overall World Cup standings. US National Champion, Clara Honsinger, put in a great ride to finish sixth in Nommay.
Dutch rider Ryan Kamp won the U23 men’s race in Nommay ahead of Swiss rider, Kevin Kuhn, and British rider
Thomas Mein. US National Champion, Gage Hecht, finished 13th on the day, while his American compatriot, Eric Brunner, also put in an impressive ride to finish 18th.
Thibau Nys – son of cyclocross legend, Sven Nys – won for the umpteenth time this season, taking the Junior Nommay World Cup ahead of Rémi Lelandais and Emiel Verstrynge. Nys has won nearly every single race this season, a streak nearly rivaling that of Elite World Champion, Mathieu van der Poel.
Upcoming CX Schedule
On Saturday, January 25th, the UCI C2 Kasteelcross Zonnebeke will serve as an appetizer to Sunday’s World Cup finale in the Netherlands.
The final round of the 2019-2020 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup takes place in Hoogerheide, with both the men’s and women’s Elite titles still up for grabs.
The UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Switzerland are approaching fast – in less than two weeks’ time, the biggest names in cyclocross will head to Switzerland to battle for the rainbow stripes on February 1st and 2nd.