Photo credit: Jeff Corcoran

Day three of Jingle Cross and the third round of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup witnessed Eli Iserbyt repeat his victory from 2019, and Marianne Vos rode a masterful race to claim her second World Cup victory of the season.

Before the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup kicked off, the day was filled with fun and excitement for riders and fans in Iowa City. The Jingle Cross Junior Devo Cup invigorated the crowd as fans cheered on future champions. The fun continued as the Grinch officiated the IDT Kids Race before man’s best friend took center stage in the Doggy Cross.

The Elite Men took to the course as the riders from the morning’s Jingle Cross Craft Beer and Poker Gravel Grinder presented by Shimano rolled into the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Round two winner Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus Cyclo Cross Team) set a furious pace up Mt. Krumpit to quickly string out the field and by the fourth lap only a group of four remained at the front. Along with Hermans, the group included Lars Van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions), Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). On the fifth lap, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) managed to claw his way back to the front quartet. Over the next two laps, the five riders tested each other before a miss-timed bunny hop over the barriers knocked Hermans out of contention. With three laps remaining, Iserbyt dropped the hammer and soloed to his second World Cup victory of the year. Behind Iserbyt, Van der Haar chased hard to claim a well-deserved second, with Vanthourenhout holding off Aerts for third.

“It was very hot, and the last three laps were hotter than at the beginning of the race,” said Iserbyt. “A hard effort without any drinks is very hard, and we are not used to it in Belgium, but I can handle the heat very well, and today it was just hot enough. I have an advantage here (Jingle Cross) because I am not that big – going uphill. On the climbs, I got a little gap and then held my pace.”

In the weekend’s final event, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) set a furious pace, appearing untouchable the first three laps of the race. However, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Puck Pieterse (ALPECIN-FENIX) chased relentlessly with Betsema able to catch Vos on the fourth lap. Annemarie Worst (777) and Kata Blanka Vas (Team SD Worx) soon joined the front duo for a leading group of four. With three laps remaining, Worst faded, leaving Vas, Betsema, and Vos to fight out the podium positions. Vas’s chance for the win slipped away when she lost traction through a corner, while Betsema saw her opportunity slide away as Vos surged away the final time up Mt. Krumpit. Over the top, Vos had a five-second lead and powered away to take a dominant win. Betsema finished second, with Vas completing the podium in third.

“The atmosphere is amazing, and I am very happy to have been here,” said Vos. “With this result, I can go home with a great deal of satisfaction. Now, I will take a little break and start building up to the second part of the season.”

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Round 3 – Men
1. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
2. Lars Van der Haar (Baloise – Trek – Lions)
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
4. Toon Aerts (Baloise – Trek – Lions)
5. Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus Cyclo Cross Team)
6. Jens Adams
7. Daan Soete (CX Team Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers)
8. Ryan Kamp (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
9. Anton Ferdinande (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
10. Vincent Baestaens (CX Team Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers)

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Round 3 – Women
1. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)
2. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
3. Blanka Kata Vas (Team SD Worx)
4. Lucinda Brand (Trek Factory Racing)
5. Puck Pieterse (ALPECIN-FENIX)
6. Annemarie Worst (777)
7. Hélene Clauzel (A.S. Bike Crossteam)
8. Shirin Van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions)
9. Lara Kastelijn (IKO – Crelan)
10. Eva Lechner (FAS Airport Services)