During the first round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy cyclo-cross in Namur, Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) was racing in the lead group together with world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) until halfway through the race. That's when his luck ran out.
The timid Belgian had overcome a first flat tyre earlier in the race, but it cost him. "Just before the pit, I hit my rim, but I was unsure whether I just hit a root or whether I had a flat tyre," said Pauwels to Cyclingnews.
"I decided not to enter the pit, but once I rode past the pit, I quickly realized that I had flatted. I thought about running back to the pit, but that would've probably cost me even more time. I think I lost half a minute during that lap."
"Still I returned to contest the race, getting within about five seconds of the leaders although I started to struggle. Then when Klaas [Vantornout] accelerated, it was over for me. I'm satisfied with third place."
Pauwels' teammate Zdenek Stybar went on to win the race, and thanks Pauwels' own third place, the Telenet-Fidea team sported two riders on the podium at the citadel in Namur.