Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team) out-sprinted his teammate Klaas Vantornout at the finish line to take the win at the muddy third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Milton Keynes on Saturday. The pair made it to the final paved section together, and Pauwels clearly had most punch left in his legs.
“It was very hard. There are a lot of running sections which make it tough for me. I had back pains at the end of the race. Still, I was good enough to take the win,” Pauwels said.
French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ.fr) out-kicked Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano Development Team) for third place. Pauwels strengthens his lead in the World Cup over Vantornout up to a gap of 35 points.
“The World Cup isn’t won yet but things are looking great for me,” Pauwels said. “Klaas is riding very well. Today it was hard to follow him but I managed to hang on. It was hard to get ahead of him in the sprint.”
It was the first ever World Cup round held outside of continental Europe and the big crowds surely enjoyed a great sunny afternoon in Campbell Park. The riders were in a different position as recent rain turned the undulating course into a slippery mudfest.
Despite being out of contention in the World Cup, it was clear that Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA-Drink) was aiming for the win in the UK. Nys’ ambitions were ruined after the first two off-camber sections. His chain dropped, got stuck and half a minute later on three riders were left behind the 38 year-old.
“There was a lot of pushing going on at those off-camber sections. My chain dropped and I did not manage to release it straight away. From there that was a long chase ahead of me,” Nys said on Sporza.
The selection was made from behind on this course, creating a long line of riders during the first lap. Pauwels and German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) then took charge in the second lap, creating a first gap. The duo built up a small gap over two laps but then Van der Haar closed the gap. The Dutch champion brought Vantornout, Mourey and later Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) along with him. The pace never really dropped among the seven leaders, allowing them not to worry about a possible comeback from Nys, who was closing in on a top 10 result.
During the sixth of nine laps, the leader’s group was reduced to four men when Walsleben slipped away on the tricky off-camber section and forced Van Kessel into the barriers while Meeusen was also in trouble. One lap later, Walsleben managed to bridge back up to the leaders when Vantornout eased off a little.
The five leaders did not seem to be able to make the difference until Mourey accelerated on the penultimate lap. His attack put Van der Haar and Walsleben a short distance behind when entering the final lap. Vantornout took the initiative and behind him Mourey made a small mistake in the off-camber section which moved him back into third place. Vantornout opened up a gap when Pauwels seemed to make a shifting mistake on one of the few rideable climbs. Mourey had no answer ready and Pauwels closed the gap on his own.
From there, the teammates didn’t seem to negotiate the outcome and each fought for the win. Vantornout did everything possible to gap Pauwels, but the latter always managed to stay within 10 metres. Once on the asphalt Pauwels punched forward and never made it look like a real sprint.
Meanwhile, Mourey easily held off Van der Haar for third place. The latter was disappointed by his sprint. “All race long I had no problems to get in my pedals and in the final lap it goes wrong. I had to sprint with only one foot clipped in while Mourey isn’t slow anyway,” Van der Haar said.
Walsleben was fifth ahead of Van Kessel and Meeusen. Nys ended his chase in eighth position at more than a minute from winner Pauwels. Bart Aernouts (Corendon-Kwadro) managed a strong ninth place.
For Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) it must have been the toughest race of his career. He crossed the line in tears in tenth place, one day after the death of his father. British champion Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) managed a fantastic twelfth place in front of his home crowd. The fourteenth place from veteran Jonathan Page (Fuji) is his best in a very long time. US champion Jeremy Powers had a rough day and finished at long distance in 25th position.
In the World Cup standings, Pauwels now has 220 points, 35 points more than Vantornout. Telenet-Fidea teammates Corné Van Kessel and Tom Meeusen share third place with 163 points. The next round of the World Cup is held in Namur, Belgium on December 21.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||1:03:01|
|2||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:01|
|3||Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr||0:00:16|
|4||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Development Team Giant-Shimano||0:00:19|
|5||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:43|
|6||Corné Van Kessel (Nedl) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:58|
|7||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:00|
|8||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink||0:01:12|
|9||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro||0:01:32|
|10||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team||0:01:38|
|11||Fabien Canal (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise||0:01:41|
|12||Ian Field (GBr)||0:01:47|
|13||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro||0:01:53|
|14||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:01:55|
|15||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:01|
|16||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:04|
|17||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team|
|18||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:06|
|19||Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini||0:02:22|
|20||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:35|
|21||David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus||0:02:48|
|22||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:57|
|23||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team||0:03:16|
|24||Michael Boros (Cze)||0:03:23|
|25||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:03:27|
|26||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Kwadro||0:03:51|
|27||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Corendon - Kwadro||0:04:02|
|28||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:04:04|
|30||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:04:38|
|31||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)||0:04:45|
|32||Jack Clarkson (GBr)||0:05:21|
|33||Flavien Dassonville (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 93||0:05:45|
|34||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||0:05:49|
|35||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels||0:06:14|
|36||Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategie||0:06:25|
|37||Kenneth Hansen (Den)||0:06:39|
|38||Steven James (GBr)||0:06:52|
|39||Steven James (GBr)||0:07:08|
|40||Ben Sumner (GBr)||0:07:14|
|41||Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team||0:07:50|
|42||Alex Paton (GBr)||0:08:00|
|43||Jody Crawforth (GBr)||0:08:05|
|44||Gusty Bausch (Lux)|
|45||Nicholas Barnes (GBr)|
|46||Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)|
|47||Jack Ravenscroft (GBr)|
|48||David Montgomery (Irl)|
|49||Glen Kinning (Irl)|
|50||Mark Mcconnell (Can)|
|51||Timothy O'regan (Irl)|
|52||Angus Edmond (NZl)|