Pauwels strikes back to win Namur World Cup

Nys and Albert round out top three

The spectacular World Cup course up and around the citadel of Namur, Belgium proved to be the perfect battleground for Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor). On its slippery slopes, a mud-covered Pauwels easily held off Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) to grab his third win of the season.

During the first laps, Pauwels was joined by Francis Mourey (FDJ-Big Mat), but the Frenchman punctured and dropped back, eventually finishing fourth. Pauwels steadily clocked the fastest lap times and held off a comeback from Albert.

"It was a tough course, and that's usually not my thing, but during the second lap, I took over the command and rode my own pace," said Pauwels. "I noticed I got a gap. It's very comfortable to ride around here at your own pace. In the closing laps, I was even able to take my foot of the gas and consolidate my lead."

With his second World Cup victory of the season, Pauwels moves back into contention for the overall win of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Albert still leads the series, but both Pauwels and Nys moved back to within a 15-point margin of the world champion.

"There are three [World Cup] courses left [in Zolder, Rome and Hoogerheide] that should suit me well. So things are looking good," Pauwels said.

Albert rode most of the race alone in second place, holding off a late race surge from Nys. Things went wrong in the bell lap, when a flat tyre cost the world champion a lot of time. Nys seized his chance and blasted past Albert in the final metres. "In the off-camber descent, I punctured, and the only thing I could do was curse," said Albert. "I lost a lot of time on Sven and eventually I ran out of gas. I could put the fire in my velo, but it doesn't burn well."

"The World Cup standings? I lost 10 points in the last lap, but it's a classification I would like to win because I rate it higher than the rest," said Albert, "and because it's international, but I'd be happy with [winning] any of the series."

Albert's bad luck was good fortune for Nys. The latter needed time before he was able to shake off his rivals for third place, and eventually he was also able to snatch second place. "There wasn't much to do against Kevin today, but I expected more from this race," said Nys. "Today I'm lucky while yesterday [in Essen] was the other way around. I'm happy that I rode at top level for so long, but now I feel like the others gained ground on me."

Despite having a good start, Mourey had to settle for fourth place, just off the all-Belgian podium in Namur. "I punctured twice during the third lap," said Mourey. "That's 'cross. I don't know if I would've been able to keep up with Kevin, but Niels was within my reach. Fourth isn't bad either," Mourey told Cyclingnews at the finish line in Namur.

Further back, American Jonathan Page bounced back from a poor start to finish in a strong 15th place, getting himself a starting spot for the cyclo-cross world championships in Louisville, Kentucky, next month.

The next World Cup round will be held in Zolder, Belgium on Wednesday.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor1:02:47 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony0:00:48 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:00 
4Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:01:21 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:01:45 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team0:02:20 
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team0:02:37 
8Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:02:50 
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:16 
10Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:03:23 
11Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:46 
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower Mtb Racing Team0:03:47 
13Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:49 
14Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:50 
15Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:52 
16Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:00 
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:04:11 
18Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:15 
19Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:04:23 
20Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:34 
21Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:04:42 
22Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:04:45 
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team0:04:54 
24Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:05:02 
25Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:05:13 
26Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)0:05:18 
27Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:05:25 
28Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus0:05:29 
29Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:05:55 
30Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:03 
31Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:06:21 
32Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL0:06:27 
33Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:07:03 
34Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:07:18 
35Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:07:37 
-1lapJiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool - Author  
-1lapThijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea  
-1lapTimothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com  
-1lapMartin Haring (Svk)  
-2lapsAndreas Moser (Swi)  
-2lapsChristian Helmig (Lux)  
-2lapsMichael Boros (Cze)  
-2lapsJonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa)  
-2lapsMicki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL  
-2lapsLukas Winterberg (Swi)  
-2lapsGuillaume Perrot (Fra)  
-2lapsZach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus  
-2lapsJustin Lindine (USA) Redline  
-3lapsMarco Ponta (Ita)  
-3lapsOndrej Glajza (Svk)  
-4lapsAaron Schooler (Can)  
-4lapsYannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP - Ghost  
-4lapsGusty Bausch (Lux)  
-4lapsJeremy Durrin (USA) Jam Fund / Ncc  
-4lapsAlexander Revell (NZl)  
Elite men World Cup standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus345 pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony335 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor334 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor264 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team246 
6Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team243 
7Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat240 
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea230 
9Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team213 
10Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus203 
11Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea187 
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus187 
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team172 
14Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team172 
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team172 
16Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti165 
17Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team159 
18Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower Mtb Racing Team145 
19Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team145 
20Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus141 
21Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus137 
22Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea136 
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team128 
24Martin Bina (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor126 
25Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea122 
26Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike117 
27Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team112 
28Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole108 
29Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus105 
30Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus99 
31Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)93 
32Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat88 
33Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool - Author83 
34Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea77 
35Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9365 
36Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke - Shanks60 
37Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles57 
38Micki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL53 
39Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL52 
40Guillaume Perrot (Fra)46 
41Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)46 
42Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor45 
43Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)42 
44Aurelien Duval (Fra)40 
45Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Revor34 
46Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com34 
47Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing29 
48Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized27 
49Christian Helmig (Lux)27 
50Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat26 
51David Kasek (Cze)26 
52Marco Ponta (Ita)25 
53Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet23 
54Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21 
55Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti21 
56Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)20 
57Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek18 
58Martin Haring (Svk)18 
59Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea17 
60Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)16 
61Kenneth Hansen (Den) Baboco Cycling Team15 
62Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.De14 
63Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)13 
64Milan Barenyi (Svk)12 
65Andreas Moser (Swi)11 
66Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)11 
67Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10 
68Michael Boros (Cze)9 
69Romain Lejeune (Fra)9 
70Lukas Winterberg (Swi)9 
71Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa)8 
72Gusty Bausch (Lux)8 
73Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP - Ghost7 
74Lewis Rattray (Aus)7 
75Alexander Revell (NZl)7 
76Ludwig Söderquist (Swe)5 
77Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus4 
78Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa)4 
79Angus Edmond (NZl)4 
80Justin Lindine (USA) Redline3 
81Emil Arvid Olsen (Den)3 
82Marco Bianco (Ita)3 
83Ondrej Glajza (Svk)1 


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