The Dutch and the Belgian go head-to-head in the Elite Men race. At the end of the day, Van der Poel repeats the success he achieved in Tabor in 2017 and in Rosmalen in 2018
A great show, full of suspense, in the Elite Men race of the European Championships in Silvelle (Padua, Italy). And eventually Mathieu Van der Poel scored another win, picking up his third consecutive European title. This had never happened in the history of this discipline. Eli Iserbyt held his banner high on the muddy course, giving up to the world champion’s class only on the last lap.
The entire Belgian National team tried to make things difficult for Van der Poel, placing five runners in the first seven positions, but the skillful Dutch rider proved unreachable once again. Laurens Sweeck completes the podium.
The plot of the competition has been clear since the beginning: Van der Poel against Belgium. Six Belgians tried to put the World champion in a difficult position. Van der Poel’s first acceleration comes after six minutes of race; Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout are the only ones who can keep up with him, staying close to his wheel.
As the race suddenly becomes more tactical, Quinten Hermans, Laurens Sweeck and Toon Aerts are back in the game, in a true Belgian encirclement against the “dreaded” Van der Poel. Iserbyt doesn’t just want to play a secondary role and repeatedly tries to raise the pace, without – however – troubling the Dutchman.
The race is decided on the last lap: Van der Poel puts his foot down, Iserbyt tries to hang on but eventually loses a few meters and no longer manages to bridge the gap. For the third time, the Dutchman is the European king.