Pauwels wins in messy GP Sven Nys

Nys out sick, Stybar, Albert on podium

There was no Sven Nys (Crelan) in his new team kit in the GP Sven Nys on New Year's Day in Baal, Belgium. The sixth round in the Bpost Bank Trofee series was confronted with the absence of the popular home rider due to illness. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) didn't mind and gratefully grabbed the flowers on a muddy Tuesday afternoon at the Balenberg in Baal. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has finished as runner-up five times in Baal but he once again had to settle for second place in 2013. Pauwels pleased his new co-sponsor Napoleon Games with a nice win at the start of the new year.

"That makes it extra nice. First I followed Stybar but then I rode away without even wanting to start a solo. It was early but I'm going better every time on these demanding courses," Pauwels said to Sporza.

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) controlled the damage by finishing third despite a ill-timed flat tyre. "This race remains my unlucky race. The first two laps were bad but from there I got going. Then I punctured right after the pit and my race was over. Too bad because I felt like I could bridge back up to the front. I was keen on trying to win here but when you're thrown backwards due to bad luck...I lost my morale," Albert said.

The world champion comfortably remains overall leader in the Bpost Bank Trofee series. He leads Pauwels by 3:53 in the general classification. Absent man Nys tumbled down the classification to seventh place at 10:10 from Albert. "It's a big gap knowing that there's two fast races coming up."

Pauwels' teammate Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) claimed his part of the attention by leading the first two laps of the race. Vantornout gathered no more than 12 seconds on a large group of riders where Albert needed some time to recover from a bad start. By the third of seven laps Stybar powered forward on the muddy course around the Balenberg. At first Stybar's move was marked by Pauwels, Albert and Vantornout but half a lap later only Pauwels was capable of keeping up with the Czech rider. Early on in the fourth lap Pauwels took over command from Stybar and the latter had to bow his head for the superiority of the Belgian.

"Kevin was the strongest man today although I was enjoying the best day of my cyclo-cross campaign. I decided to ride in front at my own pace but I made too many mistakes to win. Even without mistakes I would not have won," Stybar said.

Pauwels dealt best with the tough muddy conditions and every lap he took about twenty seconds on chaser Stybar. At the finish Pauwels had a gap of more than a minute on Stybar. Albert was third at short distance. Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) was best of the second chasing group ahead of Vantornout and Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink – Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) won the fight for seventh place, powering forward in the last lap and finishing ahead of Bart Aernouts (AA Drink – and a strong Jonathan Page. The American rider held off Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah) who showed off his new team kit.

The last two rounds of the Bpost Bank Trofee series are held on February 9 and 24 in Lille and Oostmalle.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games1:01:00 
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:09 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:20 
4Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:29 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:01:35 
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:44 
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:24 
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:28 
9Jonathan Page (USA)0:02:35 
10Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:42 
11Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:44 
12Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:59 
13Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:12 
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:32 
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:03:43 
16Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:49 
17Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:04:03 
18Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:11 
19Patrick Gaudy0:04:57 
20Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL0:05:05 
21Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-KDL0:06:07 
22Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent.Jobs-Wanty0:06:25 
23Kevin Cant (Bel)0:06:33 
24Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:06:40 
25Justin Lindine (USA) Redline0:07:07 
26Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:08:07 
27 (-1 lap)Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole  
28 (-2 laps)Bart Verschueren (Bel) Crelan-KDL  
29 (-4 laps)Wouter Been (Ned)  
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus  
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games  
DNFMariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco  
DNFKenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept  
DNFArnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea  
DNFGareth Whittall  
DNFLubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus  
DNSSven Nys (Bel) Crelan-KDL  
DNSTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea  
DNSDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
DNSVincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan-KDL  
Intermediate sprint
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games15 pts
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep10 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus5 
Fast lap
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:08:32 
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:08:32 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:08:34 
Standings after six races
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus5:51:41 
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:03:53 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:06:18 
4Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:07:46 
5Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:09:08 
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:10:09 
7Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-KDL0:10:11 
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:12:39 
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:15:37 
10Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:15:52 
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:17:57 
12Jonathan Page (USA)0:18:50 
13Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:19:42 
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:19:43 
15Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:20:30 
16Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:21:07 
17Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:21:09 
18Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:22:30 
19Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:22:31 
20Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:22:45 
21Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL0:22:54 
22Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:24:11 
23Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-KDL0:24:41 
24Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:25:12 
25Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:25:15 
26Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:25:30 
27Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:26:13 
28Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:26:20 
29Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:26:26 
30Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:26:36 
31Kevin Cant (Bel)0:26:40 
32Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:27:20 
33Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:27:29 
34Romain Lejeune (Fra)0:27:31 
35Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan-KDL0:27:49 
36Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:27:58 
37Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:28:09 
38Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:28:34 
39Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:29:11 
40Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:29:13 
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-KDL9 pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus8 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games5 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games4 
5Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep2 
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