Lars van der Haar fights back onto World Cup podium in Iowa City

A gutsy performance by a consistently gutsy rider

Lars van der Haar took second in Iowa City on Sunday to score his best World Cup result since placing second in Koksijde in 2017. He battled Waterloo World Cup winner Eli Iserbyt for much of the race on a fast course with one notably brutal climb. 

He was happy with the result after the race, especially after a sloppy, muddy affair in Fayetteville, where he finished 14th. 

“I think for me it was my best trip to the States,” Van der Haar said. “Unfortunately, Fayetteville wasn’t. It was nice battling with Eli. Of course I would have liked to win for Trek and the team. But we have to take it how it went. I think it was a really nice race and the course really suited me.”

Toon Aerts heads back to Europe in fifth place overall in the World Cup standings.

Van der Haar was at or near the front of the race from the start. “Mount Krumpit,” a steep ascent early in the lap, was the site of most of the day’s attacks, and Van der Haar consistently answered every attempt to distance him. On the sixth lap, Iserbyt gave a hard effort that threatened to leave the field broken for good, but after a long effort Van der Haar latched back on along with Michael Vanthourenhout and Baloise Trek teammate Toon Aerts. 

Iserbyt would attack on Mount Krumpit on the remaining four laps, and each time put his chasers in greater hurt. Only Van der Haar could consistently retain his wheel once the terrain leveled out. He only struggled to keep pace at the very end, ultimately taking silver just 11 seconds back of Iserbyt.

After three World Cup races in the United States, Van der Haar now sits fourth on the overall standings. Aerts, who finished fourth in Iowa City, is fifth overall. After a long week overseas, Baloise Trek’s top men’s riders have positioned themselves well for strong end of season results with 13 World Cup races still to go.

Lucinda Brand closed a long week in the U.S. with a win in Fayetteville and the No. 2 spot on the overall World Cup standings.

Lucinda Brand closes U.S. trip with hard fought fourth

Lucinda Brand admits she didn’t have her best legs on Sunday. She still held on for fourth place in Iowa City, and heads back to Europe in second place on the World Cup standings.

The first two U.S. World Cup races featured incredible duels between Brand and cycling legend Marianne Vos. That same dynamic didn’t materialize in Iowa City, as Vos largely dictated the race from the start. Brand spent much of the race in the chasing group while Vos set the terms at the front, with Kata Blanka Vas (who took third) and Denise Betsema (second) most often on her wheel.

Shirin van Anrooij, 19, has been one of the top U23 riders in cyclocross this season.

Baloise Trek teammate Shirin van Anrooij outsprinted Yara Kastelijn to take eighth overall, and third among U23 riders behind Vas and Puck Pieterse, who took fifth.

Brand heads back to Europe in good position to defend her overall World Cup title from the 2020-21 season. Notably, Vos will be taking a break from World Cup racing to rest up coming off a long road season, giving Brand a chance to build a cushion over her current closest competitor beginning next Sunday in Zonhoven.