Pim Ronhaar wins his first UCI World Cup round among the Men Elite in Dendermonde
Dendermonde was the setting for Pim Ronhaar’s first UCI World Cup victory among the Men Elite. The Dutchman was on form with a half-race solo and took victory ahead of his teammate Lars van der Haar and Laurens Sweeck.
The best start was for Gerben Kuypers, but it didn’t last long. The Belgian experienced a problem in one of the first corners and had to surrender the leading position to Ryan Kamp. British revelation Cameron Mason had an even worse start. He broke a few spokes in his front wheel and was on foot after the first corner. The favourites didn’t initially mix at the front. At the end of the first lap, Toon Vandebosch was riding a few seconds ahead of the rest.
A few minutes later, Laurens Sweeck joined his teammate, but that too was short-lived. Vandebosch built up a lead of nine seconds over Sweeck in the third lap. Meanwhile, Pim Ronhaar pulled out from the background. The Dutchman caught up with Sweeck and shortly afterwards also had Vandebosch in his sights. Iserbyt, Van der Haar, Kamp and Adams followed twenty seconds later at the end of the third lap.
Ronhaar felt at ease in the Dendermonde mud. Together with Sweeck, he joined leader Vandebosch in the fourth lap. The three seemed to be battling for victory for a while, but Lars van der Haar did everything he could to join the three. Ronhaar felt the others returning, and ratcheted up the pace in response. By the end of the fourth lap, the Dutchman had racked up an eight-second lead over the trio of Sweeck, Vandebosch and Van der Haar.
Lars van der Haar showed himself to be the excellent teammate in the following group and waited for Vandebosch and Sweeck to take the initiative, but that did not happen. Ronhaar was on his way to his first World Cup victory in his career. In the final lap, Lars van der Haar pulled away from Laurens Sweeck, who occupied the final place on the podium.