"I needed this" - Eli Iserbyt gets his confidence back with second elite World Championships medal

Eli Iserbyt was realistic on his ambitions entering the World Championships, talking about how the medals was the highest he was hoping for. A medal exactly is what he got at the end of the fast race in Hoogerheide, as the Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal rider soared to a third position behind Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert.

“This makes me very happy. I am happy to take home third place. However, I am also disappointed that Wout could not win. He really deserved it,” Iserbyt said in a post-race interview “My job was to get Wout with Mathieu right from the start, because we knew he would immediately accelerate in the first lap, which was ultimately the case.”

No-one had a response to the first-lap attack from the duo who battled for the victory, but behind Iserbyt rode a conservative race, taking advantage of the multiple Belgian riders ahead to ride the wheels throughout the first lap of the race.

“Everyone started hard in the beginning. I was able to watch the fight from the background and ended up getting more into the match. In the end it was my luck that Lars kept riding," he said. Eventually Lars van der Haar began storming through the field and in traditional form he didn't require Iserbyt to do much work. The Belgian was clearly in the hurt, but held on to the wheel.

Eventually, the two were clear to fight for the bronze medal, which came down to the final lap. "He left me in the lead on the last lap. I expected another attack, but it never came. On the planks I finally accelerated. The few seconds I took there, I held on until the line," Iserbyt recalls.

After a roller-coaster season, the Belgian is happy to have found his best form again. “I needed this. Third place and medal and I'll take a medal anyway. They won't take a medal at a championship from me anymore," he concluded.

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