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Pauwels claims GVA Hasselt

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Kevin Pauwels took his first win of the 2010-2011 season in Hasselt.

Kevin Pauwels took his first win of the 2010-2011 season in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) runs the sand pit.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) runs the sand pit. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) fishtails through the sand.

Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) fishtails through the sand. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen leads Gerben De Knegt into the sand.

Tom Meeusen leads Gerben De Knegt into the sand. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Mariusz Gil (Baboco Revor) chases with Christian Heule.

Mariusz Gil (Baboco Revor) chases with Christian Heule. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The sand pit provided one of the technical challenges of the day.

The sand pit provided one of the technical challenges of the day. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) showed little ill-effect from his knee problems.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) showed little ill-effect from his knee problems. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert in the sand pit.

Niels Albert in the sand pit. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) tried to close the gap to the front group.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) tried to close the gap to the front group. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP Powerplus)

Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP Powerplus) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) wasn't quick enough to win the fast race in Hasselt.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) wasn't quick enough to win the fast race in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) on his way to the win in Hasselt.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) on his way to the win in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) leads Niels Albert.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) leads Niels Albert. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar pushes the pace in the front group.

Zdenek Stybar pushes the pace in the front group. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The group breaks up in the twist section in Hasselt.

The group breaks up in the twist section in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) in Hasselt

Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) in Hasselt (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens pleased with his fourth place finish and his teammates' 1-2.

Bart Wellens pleased with his fourth place finish and his teammates' 1-2. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar overcame a week of knee rehabilitation to claim second.

Zdenek Stybar overcame a week of knee rehabilitation to claim second. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea)

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels attacked on the last lap to win the GVA Hasselt.

Kevin Pauwels attacked on the last lap to win the GVA Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) chases with Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea)

Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) chases with Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) set a blistering pace in the closing laps.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) set a blistering pace in the closing laps. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The GVA Hasselt podium: Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels (Telent Fidea) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)

The GVA Hasselt podium: Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels (Telent Fidea) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stybar, Pauwels and Nys were the strongest in Hasselt.

Stybar, Pauwels and Nys were the strongest in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The elite men's podium in Hasselt: Stybar, Pauwels and Nys.

The elite men's podium in Hasselt: Stybar, Pauwels and Nys. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) took fifth in Hasselt.

Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) took fifth in Hasselt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

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

#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 Team
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 Team
10Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
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 Team
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike
20Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:01:51
21Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:02:32
22Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team
23Jan Verstraete
24Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)
25Tom Vannoppen (Bel)
26Marco Bianco (Ita)
27Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
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 Rv
35Daan Bongers
36Rob Vangenechten
37Jorge Cantalicio
38Caballero Candelas
39Niels Vaes

Intermediate sprint
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet2
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1

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

GVA Trophy Classification after 3 rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team70pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team66
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet49
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team47
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team46
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor40
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus39
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team36
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus35
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team32
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus25
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team25
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team20
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus18
15Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team17
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team15
17Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13
18Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team13
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus13
20Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor12
21Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9
22Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles8
23Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS6
24Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6
25Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team4
26Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor3
27Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team2
28Romain Villa (Fra)2
29Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike2
30Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1
31Marco Bianco (Ita)1

Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team6pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet5
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3
4Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2

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