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Stybar solos to first World Cup win of season

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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) leads Steve Chainel (FDJ-Big Mat) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea)

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) leads Steve Chainel (FDJ-Big Mat) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) runs the stairs.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) runs the stairs.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) shoulders his bike on the stairs.

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) shoulders his bike on the stairs.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Steve Chainel (FDJ-Big Mat) cracked the top-10 with a ninth place finish.

Steve Chainel (FDJ-Big Mat) cracked the top-10 with a ninth place finish.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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French champion Aurelien Duval

French champion Aurelien Duval
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) finished fourth in Liévin.

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) finished fourth in Liévin.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had an off-day in the Liévin round of the World Cup.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had an off-day in the Liévin round of the World Cup.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) in action in Liévin.

Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) in action in Liévin.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the penultimate round of the World Cup.

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the penultimate round of the World Cup.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Elite men's winner Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

Elite men's winner Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Race winner Zdenek Stybar shows off his pink Specialized at the finish line.

Race winner Zdenek Stybar shows off his pink Specialized at the finish line.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Elite men's winner Zdenek Stybar hoists his Specialized bike aloft at the finish.

Elite men's winner Zdenek Stybar hoists his Specialized bike aloft at the finish.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) soloed to his first World Cup victory of the season in Liévin.

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) soloed to his first World Cup victory of the season in Liévin.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The elite men's field was strung out single file on the fast French parcours.

The elite men's field was strung out single file on the fast French parcours.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)

World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor)

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Newly crowned US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) races in the stars-and-stries jersey for the first time.

Newly crowned US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) races in the stars-and-stries jersey for the first time.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) rode to a 30th place finish.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) rode to a 30th place finish.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) en route to a 14th place finish in Liévin.

US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) en route to a 14th place finish in Liévin.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and Thijs Van Amerongen (Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl) tackle the frozen parcours.

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and Thijs Van Amerongen (Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl) tackle the frozen parcours.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The seventh round of the 'cross World Cup came down to a two-man duel between world champion Zdenek Stybar, left, and World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels.

The seventh round of the 'cross World Cup came down to a two-man duel between world champion Zdenek Stybar, left, and World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Elite men's podium (l-r): Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus)

Elite men's podium (l-r): Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) claimed his first World Cup victory this season with a win in Liévin, a town near Lens in the north of France. On a fast course with a mixture of a frozen subsoil and a muddy top layer Stybar excelled on his pink bike in the penultimate World Cup round.

"I came to France to train. I wasn't focused and even showed up too late at the start but still I managed to win," Stybar said.

The leading duo of Stybar and Pauwels seemed destined to sprint it out for victory, just as they had done in the Zolder World Cup, until disaster struck Pauwels on the final lap. The World Cup leader stumbled, then face-planted on the stairs enabling Stybar to ride away for the race win.

"Pauwels fell on the stairs and that probably was my luck. I don't know if I would've been able to beat him otherwise although I saw him suffering on the bike; it's hard to tell," Stybar said.

For Pauwels his second place was enough as consolation for his crash. "I came to Liévin to finish ahead of Nys and that succeeded. I thought Stybar wanted to ride away on the stairs and that's why I probably arrived there too fast and stumbled; it's a pity," Pauwels said. "Stybar was slightly better. He could not shake me off but more than following wasn't possible for me. Together with Nys he's the top favorite for the world championships to me."

In the World Cup standings Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) extended his lead over Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) from 10 to 20 points. Next week at the last World Cup round in Hoogerheide, Pauwels needs to finish in the top-four if Nys wins the race in order to claim the overall win in the World Cup.

Winning move forms early on blazing fast parcours

During the second lap Pauwels accelerated and only Philip Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) and teammate Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) were able to keep up with the World Cup leader. Walsleben was dropped on the third lap and his spot was taken by Stybar who bridged the gap of 10 seconds to the leaders on his own.

The situation remained the same for most of the race until Stybar accelerated during the eighth of eleven laps, when the nine-man chase group was more than 40 seconds down on the leaders. Simunek couldn't remain in contact with Pauwels and Stybar, but he held off the chasers to finish on the podium in third place. "I'm very happy with this podium place. It's been ages since I did that in a big race. Stybar and Pauwels were too strong with Stybar looking slightly better. If he pulled I was really suffering," Simunek said.

A lackluster start from Belgian champion Nys – runner-up in the World Cup standings - ruined his run for glory but he salvaged his World Cup classification by finishing as best of the rest in fourth. "A wrong tire choice cost me my start which is my own mistake. I was slipping from left to right," Nys said.

Halfway the race the Belgian champion moved up in the chase group and went flat out but one lap later he sat back in the big chase group. "With a different set of tires things improved. I tried to come back on them when the gap was up to twenty seconds but I didn't manage to make the gap smaller. The World Cup isn't over yet. I'll keep fighting for it until the last round next week in Hoogerheide," Nys said.

Behind the main chase group most US-riders featured in an even larger second chase group that rode for thirteenth place. Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) kept the pace high but he lost ground in the last lap. Together with Polish champion Mariusz Gil (Baboco), newly crowned US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) almost got back on a fading Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) at the finish line.

"I did a really hard lap with three to go. Then Aernouts brought us forward and we caught up with Albert. That's not bad for a week of celebrating and no sleep," Powers said. He finished fifteenth, two spots ahead of Jonathan Page (Planet Bike). The latter was placed well in the first chase group until he got tangled up with another rider late in the race. "I wasn't at ease in that group but figured that guys like Nys and Albert were also suffering. I told myself to hold on until it split but then that guy came up from under me. There was no space… that was retarded," Page said.

Trebon finished at the back of this group in 22nd place. "I had a horrible start in which I missed my pedal. I felt strong, though, and rode a hard tempo. I wanted to move up and if others profit from that… who cares if you finish fifteenth or twentieth," Trebon said.

James Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) was thirtieth at three minutes from the winner. "I didn't make it to that big group. That wasn't bad luck but bad legs. Maybe because we just flew in on Friday," Driscoll said.

Timothy Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) had a great start but crashed hard. "I don't know what happened but I later heard it was Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-road) who caused the crash. I hurt my hip and shoulder. I'm happy with my start though," Johnson said. He pulled out of the race after the second lap.

Full Results
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step1:03:47
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:16
3Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:30
4Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:44
5Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:46
7Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:47
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea0:00:49
9Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:53
10Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl0:00:55
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:12
12Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:34
13Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco
14Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus0:01:35
15Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team0:01:36
16Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:01:37
17Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles0:01:39
18Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea0:01:43
19Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:01:48
20Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:01:54
21Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:57
22Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS-Felt0:01:58
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti
24Aurelien Duval (Fra) U.V.Aube0:02:23
25Clément Bourgoin (Fra) Charvieu Chavagneux I.C.0:02:34
26Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:45
27Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:54
28Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)0:02:56
29Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL0:03:02
30James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:03:03
31Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Team Big Mat-Auber 930:03:16
32Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda
33Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)0:03:17
34Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:03:18
35Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool-Author0:03:22
36Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:03:42
37Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:45
38Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:04:12
39Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:04:32
40Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing0:04:43
41Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:04:47
42Martin Haring (Svk)0:04:52
43Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:04:54
44Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea0:04:55
45Thijs Al (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl
46Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:05:08
47Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:05:54
48Ludovic Renard (Fra) VS Chartrain0:06:13
49Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness-Specialized-3laps
50Ondrej Bambula (Cze)
51Craig Richey (Can) Renner Custom - Raleigh-5laps
52Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor-6laps
53Lewis Rattray (Aus)
54David Quist (Nor)-7laps
DNFJohn Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFGerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team
DNFIan Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
DNFTimothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld
DNFJeremy Durrin (USA) J.A.M. Fund - NCC
DNSSascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de
DNSMilan Barenyi (Svk)
DNSRobert Glajza (Svk)
DNSAndreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittleand-VC Butzberg

World Cup standings after 7 rounds
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor510pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet490
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step455
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor385
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team340
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea325
7Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat321
8Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat282
9Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus262
10Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl250
11Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea249
12Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus240
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti234
14Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco219
15Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team215
16Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team215
17Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole211
18Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus190
19Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Team Big Mat-Auber 93187
20Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing185
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team179
22Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus157
23Aurelien Duval (Fra) U.V.Aube135
24Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea135
25Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus134
26Thijs Al (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl132
27Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam de Rijke129
28Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea128
29Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles124
30Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL124
31Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet122
32Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team113
33Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)112
34Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld106
35Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team96
36Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles94
37Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld91
38Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team88
39Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool-Author79
40Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus78
41Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team78
42Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea75
43Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank71
44Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness-Specialized69
45David Kasek (Cze)66
46Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels63
47Magnus Darvell (Swe)59
48Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de57
49Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)48
50James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld43
51Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team43
52John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale42
53Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti42
54Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)42
55Karel Hnik (Cze) Telenet-Fidea37
56Clément Bourgoin (Fra) Charvieu Chavagneux I.C.35
57Marco Ponta (Ita) Esercito30
58Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS-Felt29
59José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team29
60Robert Gavenda (Svk) Landbouwkrediet - KDL27
61Jérome Chevallier (Fra) Amicale Cycliste Bisontin26
62Martin Haring (Svk)25
63Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)24
64Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)23
65Kenneth Hansen (Den) Haderslev Starup21
66Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda19
67Tijmen Eising (Ned) Sunweb-Revor19
68Craig Richey (Can) Renner Custom - Raleigh19
69Eddy Van IJzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team19
70Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)18
71Lubomir Petrus (Cze)18
72Erlantz Uriarte Okamika (Spa)18
73Fabio Ursi (Ita) C.S.Esercito18
74Ondrej Bambula (Cze)18
75Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)17
76Guillaume Perrot (Fra) E.C. St Etienne - Loire17
77Jeremy Durrin (USA) J.A.M. Fund - NCC16
78Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet16
79Joachim Parbo (Den) Challenge Tires14
80Milan Barenyi (Svk)14
81Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea12
82René Lang (Swi) VMC Liestal12
83Melvin Rulliere (Fra) CR Bourgogne11
84Nico Brüngger (Swi) EKZ Racing Team11
85Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team10
86Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet-Fidea9
87Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia-Felt6
88Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP5
89Ludovic Renard (Fra) VS Chartrain3
90Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Control3
91Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea2

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