Iserbyt with fourth consecutive win in Ruddervoorde
Eli Iserbyt did it again. After his victories in 2020, 2021 and 2022, he sped away again to victory in Ruddervoorde. In a sensational race, which only started to become clear in the final stages, Eli Iserbyt made it ahead of Lars van der Haar and Michael Vanthourenhout.
“A tricky circuit” is what the riders were able to tell us beforehand about the new course in Ruddervoorde. And so it turned out to be at the start of the race. A lot of riders had missed their start, made small mistakes and were soon forced to chase. At the front, we saw Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout, Niels Vandeputte and Kevin Kuhn controlling the race. At that moment in the race, it was Lars van der Haar, Laurens Sweeck and Joris Nieuwenhuis who were among the riders who had just missed the connection. Major absentee in this phase of the race was Gerben Kuypers. He was spotted in position 44.
Michael Vanthourenhout was the first person to start forcing the pace. In doing so, he put teammate Eli Iserbyt in a figurative easy chair. However, it proved difficult to stay ahead on this course. The slippery, heavy and twisty course, combined with strong winds, made it easy for chasing groups to catch up.. Thus Vanthourenhout was caught again.
Lars van der Haar felt better as the race went on. By taking command, he made it harder for individual chasers to get back. A good move with an eye on a podium place. Only Iserbyt, Vanthourenhout and Kuhn could hang onto Van der Haar on lap five.
However, it turned out that the pace at the front was not fast enough because, on lap six of the nine, quite a few riders were able to reconnect. Now we saw Vanthourenhout, Sweeck, Iserbyt, Vandeputte, Wyseure, Kuhn and Van der Haar at the front. A few seconds behind, the Spaniard Orts and the Brit Mason were also having strong races.
On lap seven, the moment seemed right for Iserbyt, Vanthourenhout and Van der Haar to demonstrate how strong their legs were. The three strongest riders in the race joined forces and set off together. Kuypers, who had been spotted in 44th place on the first lap, in the meantime had worked his way back into fourth place. However, making the connection was no longer on the cards. He would finally finish sixth.
In a crazy end to the race, Lars van der Haar did not want to be surprised by team-mates Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout. Leading the group, he took charge on all the stretches. An effort that may have cost him a lot of his strength, because he was unable to respond when Iserbyt attacked. Eli Iserbyt went on to record his second win of the year in the Telenet Superprestige. Lars van der Haar secured second place, bringing him level with Michael Vanthourenhout in the general classification. Vanthourenhout finished third in Ruddervoorde.