Pauwels triumphs in Zolder

Belgians sweep top three spots

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet Fidea) broke through the cyclo-cross dominance of the triumverate of Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus), Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Colnago) and Zydenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) on Saturday with a win at the World Cup in Zolder. The venue was the same as when he became the junior World Champion in 2002. On a fast course up and around the Terlaemen car race track, the timid 25-year-old Belgian grabbed his second elite career victory after taking the initiative early on.

Pauwels ended up leading the race with two Rabobank men and World Champion Albert, and then started a four-lap solo attack during which he held off Albert. The latter still had a good day when considering the World Cup standings; co-leader Stybar dropped 20 points after finishing sixth.

The winner handed the victory flowers to his grandmother before talking about his success. "I'm very happy. It's my second victory with the pros, and the fact that it is a World Cup puts it a level above my victory in Overijse last year," Pauwels said.

"I got away well with [Bart] Aernouts and [Gerben] De Knegt and rode tempo, but suddenly Albert was there. On a technical section I shook him off. I suffered a lot. It was the longest cyclo-cross I've ridden in my life," Pauwels said after grabbing the victory in the one-hour race.

The Belgian didn't plan to rest on his laurels and is now targeting the Belgian National Championships in Oostmalle. "The champagne will be for after the season."

The decisive moment in the race came during the sixth lap with a crash from Nys. At that moment, Pauwels was leading the race together with De Knegt and Aernouts. Albert took the initiative in the chase group and was closing the 16-second gap together with Stybar and Nys.

When Nys crashed on a tricky drop, he held up Stybar and thus allowed Albert to get rid of his World Cup series rival. Albert bridged up to the leaders while Nys and Stybar were caught behind other chasers. Though Albert made it to the front, he didn't stay there for long since Pauwels quickly attacked.

"I needed half a lap to recover, but I didn't have time to do that since Pauwels accelerated right away. The gap remained the same for a while but I couldn't close it down," Albert said.

Looking back at Nys' crash, Stybar didn't want to blame the Belgian champion, even though Nys then opted to sit back and recover before grabbing third place after finding his legs again in the last lap. "That's cross," Stybar concluded. "When Sven crashed, I knew it was over. I was having a bad day but from then on mentally it was over, too.

"I was riding my own race, and it was Nys' right to sit on the wheels half the race, saving energy. It's not the end of the world. I lost some points for the World Cup, but it is still possible [to win the overall]," Stybar said.

Nys explained that he needed time to weigh his chances after his crash, yo-yo-ing between easing off and saving energy for tomorrow's race in Diegem. "I crashed on my right knee, and it hurt a lot. I thought about tomorrow and the [Superprestige] lead I'm defending over there. During the last lap, I was able to move from 10th to third position, so it's confirmed that my form is alright. Now I have to wait and see how my knee will react to the crash," Nys said.

The Belgian champion was surprised to see that Pauwels was able to hold off Albert in Zolder. "Before and even during the race, I was convinced that this was Albert's course, given it's a power course good for clocking steady lap times. It's a major surprise to me, and it will stick in my mind. Pauwels showed that beating Albert on a course like this is possible," Nys said.

Albert wasn't as impressed with his defeat as Nys was. "Only Pauwels finished ahead of me. All the others were dropped quite easily," Albert said. "Kevin will not blame me for saying that he isn't there all the time. Last week he finished 32nd in Kalmthout," Albert said.

Pauwels' win today made up for that poor showing - at least in his own mind. "I don't know why I was so bad over there; this time I wasn't sliding away that much," Pauwels said. The quiet Belgian will soon forget about Kalmthout as he cherishes his breakthrough performance in Zolder.

The penultimate round of the World Cup will happen in Roubaix, France, on January 17.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:04:30 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:22 
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:00:33 
4Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:00:38 
5Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:43 
6Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:44 
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team0:00:47 
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:00:49 
9Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom  
10Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:58 
11Martin Bina (Cze)0:01:04 
12Christian Heule (Swi)0:01:12 
13Thijs Al (Ned)0:01:18 
14Jonathan Page (USA)0:01:28 
15Erwin Vervecken (Bel)0:01:53 
16Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:55 
17Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:20 
18Martin Zlamalik (Cze)  
19Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas0:02:25 
20Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:02:26 
21Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:42 
22Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)0:02:48 
23David Derepas (Fra)0:02:49 
24Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Continental Team Differdange0:02:57 
25James Driscoll (USA) Rock Racing0:03:19 
26Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:03:31 
27Ondrej Bambula (Cze)0:03:33 
28Marco Bianco (Ita)0:03:37 
29John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:03:44 
30Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Continental Team Differdange0:03:47 
31Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)0:03:49 
32Troy Wells (USA)0:03:50 
33Wilant Van Gils (Ned)0:03:51 
34Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home Pb Cooking Light0:03:52 
35Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)0:03:57 
36Laurent Colombatto (Fra)0:04:00 
37Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet Ebh Elshof0:04:06 
38Kamil Ausbuher (Cze)0:04:16 
39Ian Field (GBr)0:04:53 
40Milan Barenyi (Svk)0:05:00 
41Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)0:05:03 
42Robert Glajza (Svk)0:05:06 
43Joachim Parbo (Den)0:05:10 
44Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)0:05:14 
45Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram0:05:16 
46Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)0:05:31 
47Tommy Nielsen (Den)0:05:33 
48Jérome Chevallier (Fra)0:05:41 
49Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia - Felt0:05:45 
50Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:05:51 
51Alessandro Gambino (Ita)0:06:16 
52Marco Ponta (Ita)0:06:19 
53Peter Presslauer (Aut)0:06:24 
54Martin Haring (Svk)  
55Ivar Hartogs (Ned)0:07:15 
56Brian Matter (USA)0:07:50 
-2lapsLukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team  
-3lapsOsmond Bakker (Can)  
-6lapsMasashi Matsui (Jpn)  
-6lapsBoldbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mgl)  
-6lapsAriunbold Naranbat (Mgl)  
DNFSven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team  
DNFJustin Lindine (USA)  
DNFJeremy Powers (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team  
DNFFabio Ursi (Ita)  
World Cup standings after seven rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus505 pts
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team485 
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago415 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team387 
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team335 
6Gerben De Knegt (Ned)330 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank307 
8Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux302 
9Christian Heule (Swi)281 
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas270 
11Erwin Vervecken (Bel)266 
12Martin Zlamalik (Cze)252 
13Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus231 
14Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom230 
15Martin Bina (Cze)219 
16Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team211 
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus206 
18Mariusz Gil (Pol)206 
19Thijs Al (Ned)204 
20Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team193 
21Jonathan Page (USA)190 
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team174 
23Marco Bianco (Ita)173 
24Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team167 
25Kamil Ausbuher (Cze)159 
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel)126 
27Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)124 
28Laurent Colombatto (Fra)122 
29John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale116 
30Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)116 
31Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)115 
32Ondrej Bambula (Cze)110 
33Alessandro Gambino (Ita)98 
34Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home PB Cooking Light98 
35Wilant Van Gils (Ned)92 
36Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Continental Team Differdange91 
37David Derepas (Fra)90 
38Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)88 
39Fabio Ursi (Ita)82 
40Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus76 
41Jérome Chevallier (Fra)75 
42Jonathan Lopez (Fra)71 
43Ian Field (GBr)71 
44Milan Barenyi (Svk)70 
45Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago59 
46Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)54 
47Ivar Hartogs (Ned)51 
48Johannes Sickmueller (Ger)48 
49Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)43 
50Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol)41 
51James Driscoll (USA) Rock Racing39 
52Robert Glajza (Svk)38 
53Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)37 
54Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35 
55Lukas Flückiger (Swi)33 
56Joachim Parbo (Den)32 
57Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Continental Team Differdange30 
58Lukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team30 
59Elia Silvestri (Ita)29 
60Sascha Weber (Ger)28 
61Martin Haring (Svk)28 
62Sascha Wagner (Ger)26 
63Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)25 
64Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned)25 
65Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) La - Rota Dos Moveis24 
66Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)23 
67Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom22 
68Marco Ponta (Ita)21 
69Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Cyclingteam20 
70Troy Wells (USA)20 
71Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)18 
72Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia - Felt17 
73David Seco Amundarain (Spa)16 
74Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa)15 
75Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet Ebh Elshof14 
76Daniel Ruiz Echeandia (Spa)14 
77Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)13 
78Zdenek Mlynar (Cze)13 
79Jody Crawforth (GBr)11 
80Andreas Moser (Swi)11 
81Tommy Nielsen (Den)11 
82Julien Pion (Fra)10 
83Jens Westergren (Swe)10 
84René Lang (Swi)10 
85David Lozano Riba (Spa)9 
86Clément Bourgoin (Fra)9 
87Gusty Bausch (Lux)8 
88Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)7 
89Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram6 
90Peter Presslauer (Aut)4 
91Marek Canecky (Svk)3 
92Zoltan Tisza (Hun)2 
93Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne1 
94Rafael Visinelli (Ita)1 


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