Belgium 09 September 2021 1 stages ( 162 km )
Bert Van Lerberghe crowned West-Flemish Champion
Bert Van Lerberghe is this year’s West-Flemish Champion, a title which he won in Izegem, at the end of an action-packed edition of Izegem Koers, which comprised 18 laps of a 9km circuit. The 29-year-old from Kortrijk featured at the front in the business end of the race, part of a group which he joined around 17 kilometers from the finish after a frantic chase.
Originally, Iljo Keisse had been part of the small breakaway that slipped away on the opening lap and remained in the lead until close to the final, when Bert’s group braved the heavy rain and bridged across, erasing the one-minute deficit they had. Soon after, Van Lerberghe remained Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s only representative there, while the peloton trailed by two minutes.
Put under pressure by his companions, the Belgian delivered a valiant effort and closed gaps in the finale. In the end Bert finished the day outside the podium, but he took the West-Flemish champion jersey for the first time in his career.
“The West-Flemish Champion is a nice reward after a hard race, which the rain made even more complicated. In the closing stages of the race, I rode away together with a small group and joined the guys at the front. It wasn’t easy there, because many teams had multiple guys forcing me to shut down the gaps. The two men rode away and I tried to bring them back, but it was difficult and in the end I had to be content with this result”, said Bert after his first race since completing La Vuelta.
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