The 2021/22 X²O Badkamers Trofee concluded today with the final round (Brussels Universities cross) in the series. This is a relatively new event (now in its 4th year) that takes place on a course designed by retired pro and former World Champ Erwin Vervecken.
Prior to today, all 3 editions on the Elite Women's side have been won by Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. Alvarado did not take the start today, leaving the door open for a new winner. On the Elite Men's side, Toon Aerts was the last winner.
Let's take a look at both the one-day results from the Brussels Universities cyclocross Elite Men and Elite Women, as well as the overall series results as the season winds down.
X²O Badkamers Trofee Brussels Universities results
For the 2022 edition, Denise Betsema topped Lucinda Brand and Mannon Bakker in the Elite Women's category. That's a nice late-season result for Betsema, who started strong in 2021/22 but wasn't strong mid-season, missing the Fayetteville World Championship with an illness.
Betsema reverted to a strategy she has used successfully in the past - get out fast, take the lead, and hold it to the finish. She won wire-to-wire.
In the Elite Men's category, Michael Vanthourenhout found the top step of the podium ahead of his Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal teammate, Eli Iserbyt, with Jens Adams - the unsponsored privateer in search of a contract - taking third on the day. Toon Aerts came out of his pedal on the start and found himself at the back of the field, but was able to immediately remount and continue to at least finish.
X²O Badkamers Trofee 2021/22 final standings
Recall that the X²O Badkamers Trofee overall title is awarded based on time, not on points (as in, for example, the Superprestige series.) That means every second counts in every race, whether a rider is fighting for first or 10th. As a result, there's no coasting to the finish line, even when a rider's position in a single race is guaranteed, and riders are forced to time trial to the finish.
Despite Betsema's win today, she could not overcome Brand's substantial series lead accrued prior to the Brussels Universities, and the overall title went to Brand with a 2 minute, 22 second lead over Betsema.
Toon Aerts didn't have a great day, with the crash at the start; ultimately finishing ninth and two minutes down on the winner, but he had such a commanding lead on the overall entering the final day that he was still able to capture the series title for 2021/22 on the Elite Men side.