Pidcock’s debacle at Baal and resurrection of Iserbyt

With the absences of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, single Tom Pidcock took the start in the X2O Trofee Baal representing the trio of world cyclocross aces. And the Belgian town witnessed a rude mistake by the British that cost him a victory that he had totally tied up. Pidcock faced the last lap of the race with a huge advantage over his pursuers, Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout, but he risked more than necessary in a hilly downhill section that made him lose control of the bike and fall next to the public.

So a specialist of the stature of Iserbyt, who was the leader of the World Cup during the first stage of the competition, did not miss out on the gift to return to his best version, incidentally, taking revenge on the hard fall suffered in the snow of Val di Sole that kept him away from the last races on the calendar. It was the Belgian, together with the current European and world champions, who broke the race at the first change. The three of them already opened a gap on the first lap, with a hellish pace that was unattainable for the rest of the mortals who defended themselves as best they could from a distance on a very treacherous and muddy track. In these, Felipe Orts resisted in the technical zones, where others went on foot, to fight for a top-10 that finally escaped him (12th).

Pidcock, who kept in the wake of Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout, cast the doubt: was he suffering or was he just waiting for his moment? It was the latter, because in the second round he decided to change the rhythm and left the Belgian duo as he wanted. There was no news throughout the test, with an insulting superiority of the British, until everything took a radical turn when the outcome seemed resolved. Pidcock went to the ground in an absurd way, was neutralized and ended up off the hook in one of the stretches of mud in which he was forced to put his foot down, with some gestures of pain. Despite everything, he saved the podium, but we will have to see if he arrives touched at the next World Cup event (January 8), in which Van Aert and Van der Poel will return to the scene…

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Results X2O Baal Trophy

1º Eli Iserbyt (BÉL) – 1h 00:35

2nd Michael Vanthourenhout (BÉL) – at 11″

3rd Tom Pidcock (GBr) – 1:02

12th Philip Orts – 4:12

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