The race began with a fast start from the two Belgian favourites - Jappe Jaspers and Eli Iserbyt. They continued to lead for part of a lap, but a selection was quickly formed containing Gage Hecht (USA), Eli Iserbyt (Belgium), Max Gulickx (The Netherlands), Jappe Jaspers (Belgium), and the giant 18-year-old, Simon Andreassen (Denmark). They were being chased by Swiss Johan Jacobs. Andreassen decided that this group was far too big for his liking, and attacked near the end of the lap.
That attack failed to propel him ahead of the group, but he went again near on lap 2. He was never seen again.
By now the racing was coming from behind, as at the beginning of lap 3 he lad by 9 seconds from Iserbyt, who looked like he was beginning to struggle, falling back to the group behind, now comprising of Hecht and Gulickx after the planks. It's interesting to note here that on the planks, Andreassen was able to bunnyhop them, and Iserbyt wasn't. Now, I doubt that Iserbyt would call himself tall, exactly, and he had trouble with them, losing a LOT of time.
As Iserbyt was caught by Hecht's group, he seemed to start struggling even more pronouncedly. Apparently, he had the wrong tyres. "It was my decision which tyres to take. Not the crew's fault," he later said. And struggling he truly was. With two laps to go, Iserbyt was dropped again, 44" down at the finish.
By lap 4, Gulickx saw his chance, and attacked Hecht, but unsuccessfully. Iserbyt was behind, but gaining. He caught the group by the final lap. Andreassen, you ask? Still perfect.
As they crossed the line for the penultimate time, Andreassen still led, by over 40 seconds, but it was starting to heat up behind. Hecht made a mistake, and so did Gulickx, but they stayed with the group, as Iserbyt had a go. He then had a mistake, going to the back to the group. Hecht used this opportunity to attack, but he didn't get a gap either. Iserbyt attacked again, and this one looked like sticking! He brought Hecht with him, but coming onto the tarmac, the America, who looked sure of bronze, lost his pedals. And with his momentum, down the drain went his aspirations. Andreassen crossed the line ecstatic, Dannebrog aloft, while Iserbyt came in second. Third was Max Gulickx, and fourth was a disappointed Gage Hecht.
"I rode the perfect race," said the happy Andreassen. "This surface suits me. Technically I had an advantage." Iserbyt said yesterday that he wouldn't be happy with anything other than a win, and he did look disappointed on the podium next to the emotional Andreassen.
The future of our sport is bright, my friends, oh so bright.