Pauwels repeats at Tabor with solo victory

Van der Haar outsprints Albert for 2nd

Last year's World Cup champion Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) commenced his new World Cup campaign with a convincing win in Tábor, Czech Republic. Just as he did last year at the Tábor round, one the Belgian's four World Cup triumphs the prior season, Pauwels rode away from his rivals in the closing laps to notch a solo victory.

Near the end of the seventh of nine laps Pauwels made his move, separating himself from the four-man lead group containing teammate Klaas Vantornout, world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and young Dutch phenom Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team). Vantornout played his team role to perfection as the Sunweb-Revor riders rode 1-2 at the front and Vantornout let a gap grow to Pauwels which neither Albert nor van der Haar could close.

"This time it took longer," Pauwels said, comparing this victory to last year's solo win in Tabor. "Earlier I was unable to drop Niels. Thanks to Klaas, who played team tactics, I received a couple of metres. That was enough. It was hard but it worked out well."

On the final lap Albert and van der Haar dropped Vantornout with the young Dutchman winning the sprint for second against Albert, a fine performance for the 21-year-old Rabobank-Giant rider's first World Cup in the elite ranks.

"I can't believe it. I didn't expect it to go so fast. Last night I dreamed of a top-5 result, now I know that I can get somewhere in this sport," van der Haar said after his second place performance in Tábor. "This course suits me to perfection. I'm going really well and I'm technically good so in these corners they couldn't drop me."

Van der Haar was pragmatic about the Sunweb-Revor team tactics which prevented a potential sprint for victory. "That's racing, I understand them. It's part of the race but it's not fun," said van der Haar.

Vantornout finished alone in fourth place, 27 seconds behind Pauwels, while Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) finished a frustrating fifth place eight seconds later, yet still a remarkable result considering his early misfortune. The Belgian champion rode dominantly at the front of the pack but then his chain snapped at the beginning of the third lap. "Suddenly I was kicking in the air," Nys said.

After Nys got a new bike from the pits he found himself in 22nd place, more than 40 seconds behind the leaders, and he set to work with a lengthy pursuit. "At first I thought that I would be able to join the large chase group behind the leaders and then aim for a last-lap effort," said Nys. "Once I bridged up to them I was able to continue. I had a very good day."

Eight seconds behind Nys, Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) won the sprint for sixth place ahead of U.S. champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Twan van den Brand and Simon Zahner. After his career best World Cup result in Plzen last year, a 10th place finish, Powers showed a lot of improvement in Tábor. During the second half of the race Powers moved up in the large chase group and started setting the pace.

Powers's result is the best-ever World Cup finish from an American in the elite men's ranks, an honor previously held by Jonathan Page with eighth place finishes at Igorre and Hoogerheide in the 2009-2010 season.

Local rider Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) rode in the lead group during the first half of the race, then rode alone in fifth place for a long time but in the closing laps he ran out of steam. Simunek ultimately finished in 11th place, 54 seconds behind Pauwels.

Full Results
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor1:04:58 
2Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:14 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:16 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:27 
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:35 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:43 
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus0:00:45 
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:46 
9Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team  
10Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:00:54 
11Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus  
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:00:55 
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:21 
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:01:35 
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:44 
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:01:45 
17Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author  
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:49 
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:56 
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:02:07 
21Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:02:13 
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:14 
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:02:15 
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:16 
25Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:19 
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:02:20 
27Guillaume Perrot (Fra)0:02:25 
28Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:30 
29Jonathan Page (USA)0:02:44 
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld  
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:45 
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:02:52 
33Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:02:54 
34Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:03:01 
35Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:03:17 
36Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:03:30 
37Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:38 
38Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo0:03:39 
39Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:47 
40David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:03:51 
41Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea0:03:52 
42Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:04:33 
43Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:04:38 
44Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:04:43 
45Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica0:05:17 
46Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:06:12 
47Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:06:21 
48Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes0:06:40 
49Marco Bianco (Ita)   -1lap
50Milan Barenyi (Svk)  
51Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93   -2laps
52Andrea Masciarelli (Ita)   -3laps
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea  
DSQPetr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized  
Overall standings after round 1
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor80pts
2Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team70 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus65 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor60 
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony55 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team50 
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48 
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea46 
9Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team44 
10Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team42 
11Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus40 
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team39 
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea38 
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat37 
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team36 
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team35 
17Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author34 
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team33 
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus32 
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole31 
21Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor30 
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus29 
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite28 
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus27 
25Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team26 
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea25 
27Guillaume Perrot (Fra)24 
28Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea23 
29Jonathan Page (USA)22 
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21 
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus20 
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized19 
33Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco18 
34Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL17 
35Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda16 
36Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea15 
37Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team14 
38Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo13 
39Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite12 
40David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor11 
41Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10 
42Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)9 
43Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks8 
44Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor7 
45Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6 
46Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda5 
47Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea4 
48Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3 
49Marco Bianco (Ita)2 
50Milan Barenyi (Svk)1 

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