Michael Vanthourenhout beats Tom Pidcock in muddy thriller at World Cup Overijse

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Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) gave the Belgian crowd a muddy thriller at the World Cup Overijse.

Vanthourenhout edged out the world champion in Sunday’s cross after a tense back-and-forth battle in the last half of the race. It was Belgium’s first victory since claiming the European title earlier in the month.

“It was an even better victory than the European Championship,” Vanthorhout said afterwards.

“It was really close with Tom, and maybe I was a little bit better in the technical parts but it was really hard to follow him uphill. It was a really good battle.”

Lars van der Haar (Balvois Tracklines) finished 30 seconds behind the two leaders to take the final spot on the podium.

Pidcock and Vanthourenhout took center stage in an exciting race through the famous Overijse course on Sunday. After heavy rain during the night and morning, the technical circuit was made more complicated by slick wet soil.

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Pidcock was chased all the way back into the field in the opening laps when problems from the start grid left him at the back of the pack.

“At the start I had a problem with the gear shift and I had to chase, my shoe came loose and it was difficult to ride,” Pidcock later explained.

The Rainbow Jersey worked through traffic and took the lead in three of seven laps. Winthorhout took command through lap four before retaking the lead from the paddock shortly after the fall.

Pidcock forced the pressure through the final lap and squeezed out a slim lead until a crash on some slippery cobblestones later on the same circuit gave Vanthorhout a crucial advantage to win.

Vanthorhout held off a growing pursuit of Pidcock on the final lap to claim victory by just three seconds.

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“It was very difficult,” Vanthourenhout said of the final. “In the last two laps I pushed really hard but I saw Tom getting very close. But I didn’t make any mistakes. It was difficult, but very beautiful.”

Series leader Eli Asrbet (Powells Susan-Bungol) finished seventh and now leads the overall by just one point.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Petrus is kicking the mud for his first World Cup victory.

Petrus grew up in poor conditions.

Pique Peters (Alpecin-Deceuninck) claimed his first Elite World Cup win with a dominant ride in adverse conditions early on Sunday.

The newly-crowned U23 European champion and U23 World Cup leader pulled away from rivals and fellow 20-year-olds Fam van Ampel (Powells Suzanne Bungol) and Sherin van Unrooij (Balvoice Tracklines) on the opening lap to take the win. More than a minute

Technical super-talent Petrus was almost inch perfect on a rough, rooty, wooded Belgian course that was littered with downpours and slushy mud.

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“It was a great race, but really tough,” Peters said.

“I wanted to be in front on the first descent into the pits because I knew my descent would be good. I took a lot of risks in the first few laps to gain an advantage and then I kept my pace safe.

Peters has finished on the podium in all three World Cup rounds he has started this season.

Sunday’s victory for Alpessen-Desseonnick was only the second time series-dominant Van Ampel has failed to top the World Cup podium as he continues to maintain a secure grip on the overall leader’s jersey.

World champion Marianne Voss took the race lead after going deep and blasting away at the Super Prestige Merckplaats on Saturday.

“Marianne figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to push the limits tomorrow,” Team Jumbo Vizma said Saturday.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com


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