Toon Aerts takes third consecutive victory in heavy cross in B...


Toon Aerts has won a third consecutive cyclocross race in the Ethias Cross in Beringen. The leader of Telenet Baloise Lions drove away from Eli Iserbyt in the fourth lap and remained alone in the lead until the end. Iserbyt was second, just like last week, Lars van der Haar was also third on the podium.

Daan Soete made an excellent impression in the first round. The rider of Group Hens-Maes Containers was on a familiar course and put the favorites under pressure with a few injections. Only Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) and Quinten Hermans (Circus-Wanty Gobert) were able to connect. Aerts and Iserbyt then immediately put their two companions under pressure: Soete reconnected after a more difficult moment, Hermans had to go overboard.

In the fourth round, Aerts thought his moment had come. The former Belgian and European champion shook the tree firmly: Soete creaked and Iserbyt could not follow either. Aerts quickly gained a reassuring lead, while Iserbyt had to look back, because Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions) closed the gap and came in on the sixth lap.

In the front, Aerts was able to consolidate his lead: the gap with the first pursuers fluctuated around half a minute. Iserbyt did manage to redeem Van der Haar, but there was no question of getting the leader back. Aerts thus won for the third week in a row: he already hit the Ethias Cross Kruibeke and the round of the Superprestige in Gieten. Iserbyt and Van der Haar were allowed on the podium.

Photo: BELGA
Toon Aerts takes third consecutive victory in heavy cross in Beringen, Eli Iserbyt second again
Foto: Photo News

Betsema supreme among the women

Among the women, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) dominated the race almost from start to finish. After her recent doping suspension, Betsema still cannot count on a good starting position in cyclocross, but that did not prevent the Dutch from taking a furious start in Beringen. The 26-year-old rider of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal already rode away from the competitors in the opening lap. No one could follow.

Betsema made it a long solo and came first over the line after just under 50 minutes. Behind the unbeatable winner there was a nice fight for place two and three: world champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took on European champion Yara Kastelijn, Annemarie Worst and Italian champion Eva Lechner.

Toon Aerts takes third consecutive victory in heavy cross in Beringen, Eli Iserbyt second again
Photo: BELGA

The foursome was still together in the final lap, although that took all the effort in the world for Kastelijn. Sausage put pressure on the other ladies, but fell. Alvarado then held back Lechner in the sprint for second place: the duo crossed the finish line 54 seconds from Betsema. Kastelijn came fourth. Worst crossed the line after her crash with a defective bicycle and saw Shirin van Anrooij and Anniek Van Alphen pass. Alicia Franck was the first Belgian in place ten.

Toon Aerts takes third consecutive victory in heavy cross in Beringen, Eli Iserbyt second again
Photo: BELGA

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