The double for Eli Iserbyt in Middelkerke

Saturday 10 February 2024

The double for Eli Iserbyt in Middelkerke

An unleashed Eli Iserbyt put the icing on the cake of his Telenet Superprestige season in Middelkerke. As well as the victory in Middelkerke, he also crowned himself overall winner. Teammate Michael Vanthourenhout finished in second place, Joris Nieuwenhuis in third. 

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) had set his sights on this race. His final goal this season? A fiftieth professional victory in the field. Despite a slight mistake, he made the fastest start. Dutch Champion Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions) clearly felt at home on the ultra-demanding course. Halfway around the first lap, he began to force the pace. Iserbyt, Orts, Wyseure (Crelan - Corendon), Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Adams chased. 

Joran Wyseure also looked comfortable on the leaden circuit. On lap two, he succeeded in breaking away from his rivals. On round three, bad luck put a spanner in the works of the rider from West Flanders. He was completely thrown back and would later abandon the race. 

Midway through the race, Nieuwenhuis’ lead stagnated at about 25 seconds. Despite a poor start, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) managed to work his way towards the front. He got Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) on his wheel. 

Turnaround on lap six. An unleashed Belgian champion, Eli Iserbyt, surged past everyone. In short order, we had another race on our hands. Three champions - Dutch, Belgian and European - were all set to bring colour to the finale. But Iserbyt had other ideas. Before the start of the last lap, it looked like his teammate Michael Vanthourenhout would be joining him, but with a final spurt Iserbyt applied the finishing touch. 

Win number four of the Telenet Superprestige season for Eli Iserbyt. European champion Michael Vanthourenhout finished second, while Dutch champion Joris Nieuwenhuis finished third. Thus, for the second time, Iserbyt finished on top of the final classification for the Telenet Superprestige. In the final ranking, Nieuwenhuis was second and Niels Vandeputte third.