Pauwels solos to GP Hasselt win

Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Bingoal)

Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Bingoal) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Bingoal) took the win at the second round of the Soudal Classics in Hasselt, going solo on lap one in awful conditions. Jens Adams (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) finished second, 17 seconds back, while Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Bingoal) took third at 26 seconds.

It was the first victory of the season for Pauwels, and his first major cyclo-cross win since 2015’s Superprestige round in Ruddervoorde. The veteran rider got away on the first lap of the race, building up a lead on his own before a chase could get organised.

Pauwels was imperious out front, and by the halfway point, Adams’ second place looked secure too. The battle for third raged until the closing laps, however, with Iserbyt going on the offensive after a mistake by Corné van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions).

From the start of the race, it was Pauwels who took control, riding to the front at the start and quickly going on the attack. He was soon joined by Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles), with the wide-open field ensured by the absence of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert leading to aggressive racing from the off.

By the end of the first lap, Pauwels was out on his own, nine seconds up on a large chasing pack, which itself would soon be whittled down by a number of attacks. During lap two, a small chase group emerged, with David van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), Van Kessel and Pauwels’ teammate, U23 world champion Eli Iserbyt separating themselves from the chase group.

Meanwhile, Adams had snuck between the leader and the chasers, ploughing a lone furrow in pursuit of Pauwels. But at the rate Pauwels was going, it was almost as if Van der Poel was riding around in the light blue of Marlux-Bingoal. The 34-year-old was 24 seconds up on Adams at the end of lap four, while the chasing trio lay a further seven seconds back.

Heading into the race’s final laps, there were no inroads being made into the leads of either Pauwels or Adams, and so the main focus was on the battle for third. Van der Poel was the first to fall back, with Iserbyt glued to Van Kessel’s wheel as the Telenet man upped the pace.

Van Kessel’s slip exiting a corner on lap eight was all the invitation Iserbyt needed to slip by, and the 21-year-old duly took advantage to quickly eke out a gap. Unbothered by any challenges from behind, Iserbyt held on to third all the way to the finish.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal1:02:19
2Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:00:17
3Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:00:26
4Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus0:00:31
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus0:00:35
6Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:01
7David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus0:01:06
8Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:01:13
9Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea LionsRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:34
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:01:49
12Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:56
13Yannick Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:02:11
14Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:02:50
15Braam Merlier (Bel) Creafin Tüv Sud0:02:54
16Jelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:03:18
17Jenko Bonne (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex0:03:28
18Thomas Joseph (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:03:38
19Arno Debeir (Bel) Marlux - BingoalRow 18 - Cell 2
20Maxim Dewulf (Bel)0:03:45
21Arno Van Den Broeck (Bel)0:04:04
22Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel)0:04:14
23Thomas Mein (GBr) Tarteletto - Isorex0:04:26
24Victor Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:04:55
25Robin Alderweireld (Bel)0:05:02
26Loic Hennaux (Bel)0:05:14
27Cameron Mason (GBr)0:05:24
28Arne Vrachten (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex-1 lap
29Senne De Meyer (Bel)-2 laps
30Jens Gys (Bel)-2 laps
31Jarne De Meyer (Bel)-2 laps
32Yoni De Bock (Bel)-3 laps
33Marvin Schmidt (Ger)-3 laps
34Maarten Clauwaert (Bel)-4 laps
35Luc Turchi (Lux)-4 laps
36Niels Koyen (Bel)-4 laps
37Benjamin Sydlik (Ger)-4 laps
38Kwinten Stuer (Bel)-4 laps
39Leonardo Cover (Ita)-4 laps
40Pieter Meelberghs (Bel)-5 laps
41Mauro Caneva (Ita)-5 laps
42Glenn Verbeeck (Bel)-5 laps
43Wessel Coppelmans (Ned)-5 laps
44Finlay Robertson (GBr)-5 laps
45Jelle De Bock (Bel)-5 laps
46Eric Meyers (Lux)-6 laps
47Václav Krejčí (Cze)-7 laps
48Felix Stephan (Ger)-7 laps
DNFPieter-Jan Vliegen (Bel) Steylaerts - 777Row 48 - Cell 2



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