March 4, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Nils Vandeputt takes off Joris Nieuwenhuis's beard in Lille

Nils Vandeputt takes off Joris Nieuwenhuis's beard in Lille

Niels Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck) won a cyclocross race at the highest level for the first time. The 23-year-old beat Dutch champion Joris Nieuwenhuis in Lille with a fierce attack on the last lap. Joran Wyseure had to leave the two and finished third in the penultimate round of the X²O Cup.

Yesterday, Eli Iserbyt pulled off a fantastic overtaking race in Middle Kirk, and today he unwittingly used the same tactics.

Together with Michael Vanthornhout, he was soon forced to chase a dramatic start. Only about ten riders remained behind the Belgian and European champions. They will never get to the front again.

Thijs Aerts started his campaign hot, but soon lost his breath. He has been rested up front by the quartet of Joris Nieuwenhuis, Nils Vandeputte, Joran Wisseur and Lars van der Haar.

This quartet would rule for a long time, up to half a lap before Van der Haar had to let it go and Nieuwenhuis went soon after that.

The latter clearly still had great strength in his legs, because thanks to a fast and impeccable run he was able to keep up with the two young Belgians.

Krawatencross seemed to have settled into a sprint of three. But Vandeputte had other plans and launched a fierce attack half a lap from the finish.

This attack was the final blow for Wyseure, with Dutch champion Nieuwenhuis making it interesting for a long time.

In the end, the young Vandeputte had 4 seconds remaining. Enough to fulfill his dream: winning in Lille when he was a boy from the region. Commander van der Haar's rating was never in danger.

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