FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (October 13, 2021) – Belgium’s Quinten Hermans (Tormans – Circuit Cyclocross Team) captured his first UCI World Cup cyclo-cross win, pulling away early in a mud-soaked course in the men’s race at Centennial Park in Fayetteville, Ark., home of the 2022 World Championships.
Wednesday’s race christened the new course, considered the “new gold standard” for the sport, which will play host to the UCI World Championships for cyclo-cross in Fayetteville, January 28-30, 2022.
Hermans took command of the race from the gun and never relented, building his lead up to more than 45 seconds on his nearest competitor after a torrid third lap which splintered the field on the 3-kilometer circuit.
“I am super happy to take my first World Cup win. I worked real hard this summer and it is showing,” said Hermans. “With Mathieu (van der Poel) and Wout (van Aert) not here, you have to take advantage it. They are two of the best cyclists in the world, not just in cyclocross, but in general. From the first lap, it was full gas.”
Heavy rain hit the field of 46 elite cyclists mid-way through the first lap making an already heavy course more muddy. Tuesday’s test runs were on a dry and fast circuit, something top American finisher American Gage Hecht noted.
“I don’t know if I can open my eyes right now,” said Hecht, covered in mud. He finished 8th, his best to date in a World Cup. “It was really awesome. That was a really cool day. It made for a power course, which would be better for me if it’s like that for the World Championships. Combined with the home crowd, it will add extra motivation for sure.”
Herman’s countrymen Eli Iserbyt finished second :37 seconds and Michael Vanthourenhout third :49 seconds back to round out the podium and a Belgian sweep.
“I am happy with 3rd place. It was a very, very hard race, one of the hardest, for sure with the rain,” said Vanthourenhout. “At the end, I was almost walking. Every lap it kept changing (because of the rain and mud). For me, it’s a good course with the elevation (not flat). I hope in January we have the same conditions for the World Championships because I like it.”
The World Cup gave attendees a preview of what’s to come when Fayetteville hosts the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. Wednesday’s conditions could have not been worse for the men’s race but the new course, with its 39 steps, steep drops and corkscrew finishing stretch provided spectators plenty of features to gather around and cheer. The mud made for epic images on the new course, which sits atop a hill on the outskirts of Fayetteville, which is gaining international notoriety for its diverse cycling trails and byways.
“Today’s event was great for the region,” said Molly Rawn, the executive Director of Experience Fayetteville. “We literally welcomed the world to Fayetteville. The success of today’s race set us up for an exciting three-and-a-half month run up to the World Championships.”
More than 3,000 spectators were on hand for Wednesday’s race with more than 20,000 expected for the weekend of the World Championships, January 28-30, 2022.
PODIUM | RESULTS
- Quinten Hermans, (BEL) (Tormans – Circuit Cyclocross Team) 54 minutes, 55 seconds
- Eli Iserbyt, (BEL) (Team Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ :37 seconds
- Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL) (Team Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ :49 seconds
Top American: 8. Gage Hecht, (Parker, Colo.) (Team Aevelo) @1 min. 44 seconds
About UCI World Cup
The 2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internantionale and USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States. The race is hosted by Experience Fayetteville and organized by Medalist Sports.
About Experience Fayetteville
Experience Fayetteville is the convention and visitors bureau for the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is responsible for marketing the city to visitors and achieving a positive economic impact through tourism. It is the first point of contact for convention and meeting planners, sports tournament coordinators and tour operators. Experience Fayetteville oversees the visitors bureau and Experience Fayetteville Visitors Center, Fayetteville Town Center and the historic Walker Stone House. The Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission is the governing body of Experience Fayetteville. For more information on Fayetteville, visit experiencefayetteville.com.
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