British cyclocross riders enjoyed a dream afternoon at the Koppenbergcross as they took victory in three of the four races on the course centred around the iconic Koppenberg climb from the Tour of Flanders.
First up in the junior race was Ben Tulett, who followed up on third place in Sunday’s National Trophy race with victory in Belgium.
Tulett had tried to take control of the race in the early stages, moving clear in a solo effort, but was brought back by a group of seven riders at the start of the fourth lap. However Tulett had kept something in reserve, attacking again to finish alone, 19 seconds clear of Wout Vervoort in second and the only non-Belgian rider in the top seven.
Next up was Tom Pidcock (Telenet Fidea Lions), the 18-year-old sensation finding himself on the back foot in the early stages as DVV Trofee leader Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Napoleon Games) went hard from the gun.
However Pidcock found help in the form of Dutchman Jens Dekker (Beobank-Corendon), those two bridging across to Iserbyt to form the three-man group that would contest the win.
In the end it was Pidcock who had the most left in his legs as the road flattened out towards the finish line at the top of the Koppenberg, finishing four seconds ahead of Iserbyt, with Dekker another three seconds back.
The final British success came in the elite women’s race, with Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) winning the Koppenbergcross for the fourth time in her career.
Like Pidcock, Wyman also had to chase, bridging across to Katie Compton (KFC Racing) midway through the race after the American had attacked early on.
From there the duo worked well together, before Wyman went clear on the final lap winning by a fairly comfortable margin of 15 seconds as Compton held on to second ahead of Jolien Verschueren (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice).
In the final race of the day, Matthieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) took his 12th victory of the season, having to go incredibly deep to hold on to his lead on the Koppenberg after attacking on the final lap, collapsing as he struggled for breath after crossing the line.