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Pauwels pips Stybar in sprint

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Pauwels bests Stybar with a bike throw

Pauwels bests Stybar with a bike throw (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Radomir Simunek Jr. didn't finish after splintering his fork in a crash in the logs

Radomir Simunek Jr. didn't finish after splintering his fork in a crash in the logs (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Kevin Pauwels celebrates his Hasselt win from the podium

Kevin Pauwels celebrates his Hasselt win from the podium (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Mariusz Gil (Baboco Revor) ran into Simunek's bike but got back up and finished 8th

Mariusz Gil (Baboco Revor) ran into Simunek's bike but got back up and finished 8th (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) hops the log barrier

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) hops the log barrier (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) finished in 12th

Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) finished in 12th (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Mariusz Gil (Baboco-Revor) continued to post strong results in Hasselt with 8th

Mariusz Gil (Baboco-Revor) continued to post strong results in Hasselt with 8th (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) leads into the sand

Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) leads into the sand (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) kicks up a rooster tail in the sand pit

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) kicks up a rooster tail in the sand pit (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) balances in the sand

Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) balances in the sand (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) hoofs it in Hasselt

Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) hoofs it in Hasselt (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens chasing hard on the fly over

Bart Wellens chasing hard on the fly over (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) leads Stybar

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) leads Stybar (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen has plenty of clearance over the logs

Tom Meeusen has plenty of clearance over the logs (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels takes flight over the logs

Kevin Pauwels takes flight over the logs (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Twan van den Brandt (Orange Babies)

Twan van den Brandt (Orange Babies) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens leads a chase group into the logs

Bart Wellens leads a chase group into the logs (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys clears the logs

Sven Nys clears the logs (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stybar came on strong, but Pauwels held him off for the win

Stybar came on strong, but Pauwels held him off for the win (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Winner Kevin Pauwels is led away by his soigneur Verzorger Kine

Winner Kevin Pauwels is led away by his soigneur Verzorger Kine (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen and manager Hans Van Kasteren

Tom Meeusen and manager Hans Van Kasteren (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels carves a line through the sand

Kevin Pauwels carves a line through the sand (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) powers through the sand pit

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) powers through the sand pit (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet Fidea) was having a great race until he came to grief on the logs later in the race with Radomir Simunek

Rob Peeters (Telenet Fidea) was having a great race until he came to grief on the logs later in the race with Radomir Simunek (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) finished just shy of the podium

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) finished just shy of the podium (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Meeusen crosses the line in fourth

Meeusen crosses the line in fourth (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys was out-gunned in the sprint, and took third.

Sven Nys was out-gunned in the sprint, and took third. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Vincent Baestaens and Bart Wellens after the race

Vincent Baestaens and Bart Wellens after the race (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

Two years after being beaten on the line in Hasselt, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) returned to the town in Flanders to beat current cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Cycling Team), this time in a four-man sprint with Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).

It’s the third win in a row for Pauwels in the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy and the Belgian now holds a massive 12-points lead over Stybar in the general classification after three rounds.

“It’s too bad I missed out on one more point in the intermediate sprint,” a dead-serious Pauwels said. Instead of screaming out his joy this 27-year-old focused on what could be improved. “Two years ago I learned that if you want to win you need to enter the last corner in the lead so that’s what I did. I was a bit too sure of the win because Stybar almost passed me on the line. Luckily I didn’t raise my hands too early,” Pauwels added.

"It's always sad to lose by one centimeter or a few more," Stybar said. "It's a strange course here and I was never able to go flat out. Maybe it's because I'm not so fresh as this is a tough part of the season. Of course I want to win tomorrow but it will be hard after such a hard race like the one we had today," Stybar said.

The sprint victory for Pauwels was to be predicted as the fast course in sunny Hasselt didn’t offer much room for a selection up front during the first skirmishes. It was always going to come down to a sprint although some incidents helped to create a smaller lead group.
There was a nasty crash on the double tree trunk obstacles involving Czech ace Radomir Simunek (BCKP-Powerplus) during the second lap. Simunek took down Polish champion Mariusz Gil (Baboco) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) with him and ahead of them six men went the distance.

They were Pauwels, Stybar, Nys, Meeusen, Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus). Nys powered through the sand pit with only Stybar and Pauwels sticking on his wheel. Stybar quite easily won the intermediate sprint for three bonus points ahead of Pauwels and Nys.

After the intermediate sprint Pauwels kept the pace high and by the end of the third lap had a handful of seconds on Stybar, while Nys struggled a bit further back with Vantornout and Vanthourenhout.

When Stybar bridged up to Pauwels early on in the fourth lap the latter sat up and a little later there were again six leaders. At this point in the race Nys and Stybar showed weaknesses in the sand pits where they often lost ground on Pauwels and a remarkably strong Meeusen.

"When I was hitting the sand first there were no tracks. It's easier to ride trough it when following someone," Stybar said. "At the end of the race things improved a lot as the tracks were still there when we reached the sand pit."

With each acceleration from the top guns Vantornout and Vanthourenhout struggled more and more to stay in touch with them. During the fifth lap Vantornout took his foot off the gas to recover but one lap later he exploited a tactical battle in the front group to bridge back up once again.

Very impressive was the comeback from Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant – Offroad Team) who connected with the lead group during the seventh lap. Aernouts quickly sneaked ahead of a struggling Vantornout but when reaching the tree trunks all his efforts were ruined. “I didn’t lift up one of my wheels as much as needed and went straight into the second tree trunk. I worked extremely hard for nothing,” a discouraged Aernouts said. Aernouts took down Vantornout with him and this time they were out of the lead group for good.

With two more laps to go it was crunch time: Nys surprised his rivals by hammering through the sand pit. “It was a desperate attempt because I’d been at the verge of being dropped all race long. Maybe it was too early but in the last lap the others would be even more on their toes,” Nys said.

The acceleration from Nys put the others in trouble and especially Pauwels, who was surprised. “I quickly realized that escaping solo wasn’t possible today. I decided to put my money on the last lap. I always kept everything under control but when Nys attacked that was no longer the case,” Pauwels said.

First Meeusen blocked his path and by the time Pauwels passed his young compatriot there was a gap to be closed. Eventually he managed to bridge back up to Nys and Stybar. A little later Pauwels was forced to chase again when Stybar and Nys gapped the rest in the second long sand pit. By the time the race entered the last lap Pauwels and Meeusen rejoined the lead.

In the first half of the last lap no gaps were created. All four leaders smoothly rode through the first long sand pit but at the tree trunks things were different. Meeusen tried to move up during the jumps but one foot clicked out of the pedal. Somehow he managed to stay on his bike and he soon blasted to the lead position. The big guns were unimpressed and by the time the leaders hit the second long sand pit Stybar led the group ahead of Pauwels, Nys and Meeusen.

“It was crucial to lead at that point. Pauwels knew it and I knew it but he was the one winning that first sprint,” Stybar said. Pauwels kept his hands on top of the handlebars after that corner but he easily headed for the win. “Ahead of the corner I preferred to be in touch with my brakes and shifters. I didn’t find time to switch the position of my hands,” Pauwels said.

After three rounds the 81 points for Pauwels offers him a lead of 12 points on Stybar while Nys trails by 9 more points. “It’s a massive lead but was it different last year,” Nys wondered while Pauwels wasn’t doubting anymore. “It’s looking good for me as it’s quite a lead already.”

The fourth round of the GVA-Trophy is held in Essen, Belgium on December 17. Tomorrow the big guns clash again during the cyclo-cross classic in Gavere which features as fourth round in the Superprestige Series.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:59:39
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:01
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:10
5Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:28
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:00:34
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.
8Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:00:43
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:55
10Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:00
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
12Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept
13Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:17
14Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea0:01:18
15Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.
16Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink/ Leontien.nl Pro0:01:43
17Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Ruiter Dakkapellen Wielerteam0:01:49
18Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team
19Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange0:01:58
20Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb Revor
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
22Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl0:02:09
23Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink/ Leontien.nl Pro0:02:20
24Jelle Brackman (Bel)0:02:28
25Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:34
26Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)
27Patrick Gaudy (Bel) The Barracuda Company0:02:38
28Dave De Cleyn (Bel)
29Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:07
30Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem0:03:25
31Jo Pirotte (Bel)0:03:40
32Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team DW Bikes0:04:05
33Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
34Isaac Suarez (Spa)0:04:10
35Paul Oldham (GBr)0:04:25
36Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans-Landbouwkrediet
37Dries Pauwels (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace - cycling team0:06:28
38 (-2 laps)Dmitriy Sorokin (Lat)
39 (-3 laps)Sigvard Kukk (Lat)
40David Quist (USA)
DNFMartin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL-Landbouwkrediet
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus
DNFMarco Bianco (Ita)

Belgacom fastest lap
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team0:06:23
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:06:24
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:06:24

Intermediate sprint
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team3pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1

GvA Trophy standings after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor81pts
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team69
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet60
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea51
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team46
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor46
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus33
8Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea31
9Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco30
10Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus25
11Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl23
12Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet23
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea22
14Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team19
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet19
16Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept18
17Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea14
18Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus13
19Marcel Meisen (Ger) Eddy Merckx-Indeland13
20Robert Gavenda (Svk) Landbouwkrediet - KDL7
21Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team6
22Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl5
23Thijs Al (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl5
24Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Barracuda4
25Mitchell Huenders (Ned)4
26Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team2
27Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles
28Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange2pts
29Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team1
30Jim Aernouts (Bel)1

 

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