Pauwels claims GVA Hasselt

After a tactical race on a surprisingly dry and fast course, Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) grabbed his first win of the season during the third round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. The Belgian held off teammate Zdenek Stybar and Belgian champion Sven Nys after a blistering fast last lap in Hasselt.

Pauwels' fastest lap time offered him an additional 1000 euro, while World champion Stybar remains in the lead of the GvA-Trophy.

“It's great,” winner Pauwels said. “During the race I didn't know if I was better since Nys and Stybar were also riding fast. The legs were good and the course suited me much better than those from the previous weeks.

"At the pits I had more speed than the others and passed them. I knew I had to be in the lead at the sand section because the leader there would probably win the race,” Pauwels said.

The winner added that he was focused only on the day’s action rather than on the overall series, despite being the only rider within striking distance of Stybar. “I'm not busy with the overall standings. I can have a bad race too. I'll do the best I can and then we'll see what comes,” Pauwels said.

Meanwhile, Bart Wellens continued to improve, coming in fourth ahead of Rabo-Giant's Bart Aernouts, while former world champion Niels Albert rolled in behind for sixth.

While Flanders was stricken by floods last week, circumstances were rather different this week during the sixth edition of the ‘cross in Hasselt. A week ago the twisting course at the Japanese city park in Hasselt looked more like a Japanese lake. After three days of pumping 60000 litres an hour away from the course, the cyclo-cross peloton was able to tackle the almost dry and thus fast route.

Sunweb-Revor manager Jürgen Mettepenningen quickly saw three of his riders in the picture. Klaas Vantornout misjudged the first corner but somehow stayed on his bike, and in spite of hitting the barriers, he continued in the second half of the peloton. A few metres further on, however, the Belgian went down nevertheless. Vantornout was unable to continue and lost out on his second position overall in the GvA Trophy standings.

At the next corner Martin Zlamalik (Sunweb-Revor) spectacularly went over the handlebars at high speed. The Czech took teammate Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor) and Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) down with him. Meanwhile up front, Stybar put the hammer down and the Czech got away with Albert, Nys and Pauwels. Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus), Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) were among those who bridged up during the following laps but they were left dangling at the back of the leading group.

By the end of the second lap, a hard-fought sprint for the bonus points had started. After the sand sector Nys created a gap on his rivals but Stybar returned just before the last corner. Nys and Stybar dug deep for the three points and eventually it was Stybar who overtook Nys on the line: three points for Stybar, two for Nys and one for Pauwels.

Despite an acceleration from Wellens, the unfortunate Aernouts recovered well from his crash and after clocking a long-lasting fastest lap time of 5:59 during the third lap, he bridged up to the leaders the next time around.

During the following laps, Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea), Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) bridged up to the eleven-man leader's group. The difference between riding at the front or the back of the group was huge, however, as the multiple corners offered the riders at the back little time to recover.

With three laps to go the six strongest riders were left in front: Aernouts, Albert, Nys, Pauwels, Stybar and Wellens were left in contention for the win. Nys opened up the gas during the penultimate lap with only Pauwels and Stybar following the Belgian champion swiftly.

The three remaining leaders hit the last lap with Pauwels taking the lead halfway through the circuit. Behind him, Nys and Stybar were fighting hard and when cornering into the all-important sand pit, Stybar moved into second place.

Pauwels successfully ploughed through the sand and after the last obstacle he had a gap on Stybar. On the asphalt section, Pauwels didn't slow down and went on to snatch his first win of the season.

Stybar persisted and although he fell short of the victory, his second place was enough to secure his lead in the GvA Trophy. Nys settled for third place ahead of Wellens and Aernouts; Albert finished sixth at almost twenty seconds behind Pauwels.

Meeusen won a direct duel with his rivals for World Cup selection by finishing seventh. Simunek came home just ahead of Belgians Rob Peeters and Dieter Vanthourenhout, while American representative Jonathan Page (Planetbike) didn't have a good start and he finished in a distant nineteenth place.

Full results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:01:19
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:03
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:05
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:07
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:20
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:25
8Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:29
9Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-PowerplusRow 9 - Cell 2
11Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:41
12Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:00:45
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:47
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:49
15Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:51
16Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:01:35
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:01:47
18Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet BikeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:01:51
21Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:02:32
22Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jan VerstraeteRow 22 - Cell 2
24Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Tom Vannoppen (Bel)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Marco Bianco (Ita)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Stijn Huys (Bel)0:03:46
29Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:51
30Kevin Cant (Bel)0:04:03
31Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace0:04:13
32Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:04:20
33Jo Pirotte0:04:55
34Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude RvRow 33 - Cell 2
35Daan BongersRow 34 - Cell 2
36Rob VangenechtenRow 35 - Cell 2
37Jorge CantalicioRow 36 - Cell 2
38Caballero CandelasRow 37 - Cell 2
39Niels VaesRow 38 - Cell 2
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Intermediate sprint
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Fastest lap
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:05:54
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:05:55
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:05:58
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GVA Trophy Classification after 3 rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team70pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team66Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet49Row 2 - Cell 3
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team47Row 3 - Cell 3
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team46Row 4 - Cell 3
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor40Row 5 - Cell 3
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus39Row 6 - Cell 3
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team36Row 7 - Cell 3
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus35Row 8 - Cell 3
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team32Row 9 - Cell 3
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus25Row 10 - Cell 3
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team25Row 11 - Cell 3
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team20Row 12 - Cell 3
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus18Row 13 - Cell 3
15Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team17Row 14 - Cell 3
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team15Row 15 - Cell 3
17Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13Row 16 - Cell 3
18Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team13Row 17 - Cell 3
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus13Row 18 - Cell 3
20Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor12Row 19 - Cell 3
21Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9Row 20 - Cell 3
22Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles8Row 21 - Cell 3
23Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS6Row 22 - Cell 3
24Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6Row 23 - Cell 3
25Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team4Row 24 - Cell 3
26Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor3Row 25 - Cell 3
27Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team2Row 26 - Cell 3
28Romain Villa (Fra)2Row 27 - Cell 3
29Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike2Row 28 - Cell 3
30Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1Row 29 - Cell 3
31Marco Bianco (Ita)1Row 30 - Cell 3
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Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team6pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2Row 4 - Cell 3

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