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Pauwels repeats at Tabor with solo victory

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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) celebrates his victory in the opening 'cross World Cup round in Tabor.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) celebrates his victory in the opening 'cross World Cup round in Tabor.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys's chainless bike in the pits.

Sven Nys's chainless bike in the pits.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) glances back to make sure there are no surprises during his victory celebration.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) glances back to make sure there are no surprises during his victory celebration.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) outsprints world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) for second place.

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) outsprints world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) for second place.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea)

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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U.S. champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) en route to a 7th place finish in Tabor.

U.S. champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) en route to a 7th place finish in Tabor.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) was one of three Americans in the elite men's World Cup opener.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) was one of three Americans in the elite men's World Cup opener.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) leads Niels Albert, Lars van der Haar and Klaas Vantornout through the barriers.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) leads Niels Albert, Lars van der Haar and Klaas Vantornout through the barriers.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) runs the barrier section.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) runs the barrier section.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys salvaged a fifth place result from a race marred by a broken chain in the early laps.

Sven Nys salvaged a fifth place result from a race marred by a broken chain in the early laps.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) had dropped his rivals and rides solo to victory.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) had dropped his rivals and rides solo to victory.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Twan van den Brand (Orange Babies) runs the barrier section.

Twan van den Brand (Orange Babies) runs the barrier section.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) drives the pace in the four-man lead group.

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) drives the pace in the four-man lead group.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP - Powerplus)

Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP - Powerplus)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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For the second straight year, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) soloed to victory in the Tabor round of the World Cup.

For the second straight year, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) soloed to victory in the Tabor round of the World Cup.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Italy's Marco Bianco

Italy's Marco Bianco
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team)

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys came charging back after snapping his chain on the third lap.

Belgian champion Sven Nys came charging back after snapping his chain on the third lap.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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U23 world champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) made an emphatic debut in his first elite-level World Cup.

U23 world champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) made an emphatic debut in his first elite-level World Cup.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) head the chase effort of the four leaders.

US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) head the chase effort of the four leaders.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) on the podium for his third place finish in Tabor.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) on the podium for his third place finish in Tabor.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) en route to a 14th place finish in the first World Cup round.

Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) en route to a 14th place finish in the first World Cup round.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Defending World Cup champion Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) picked up where he left off last season, wearing the leader's jersey.

Defending World Cup champion Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) picked up where he left off last season, wearing the leader's jersey.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) was pleased with his fourth place finish.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) was pleased with his fourth place finish.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) runs the barriers.

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) runs the barriers.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Niels Albert leads Kevin Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout and Lars van der Haar at the head of the race.

World champion Niels Albert leads Kevin Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout and Lars van der Haar at the head of the race.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) hops the barriers while he tries to regain contact with the front of the race.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) hops the barriers while he tries to regain contact with the front of the race.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The elite men's podium in Tabor (L-r): Lars van der Haar, Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert

The elite men's podium in Tabor (L-r): Lars van der Haar, Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) had a very strong showing in Tabor.

US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) had a very strong showing in Tabor.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) came back from a broken chain to finish fifth in the first round of the World Cup.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) came back from a broken chain to finish fifth in the first round of the World Cup.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) airs it out over the barriers.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) airs it out over the barriers.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) puts his considerable bike-handling skills on display.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) puts his considerable bike-handling skills on display.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Marcel Meisen (BKCP-Powerplus)

Marcel Meisen (BKCP-Powerplus)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) bunny hops the barriers with room to spare.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) bunny hops the barriers with room to spare.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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After snapping his chain early on the third lap, Sven Nys runs to the pit.

After snapping his chain early on the third lap, Sven Nys runs to the pit.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) in the World Cup leader's jersey.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) in the World Cup leader's jersey.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys dismounts after snapping his chain.

Belgian champion Sven Nys dismounts after snapping his chain.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) soloed to victory in the Tabor, Czech Republic round of the World Cup for the second straight year.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) soloed to victory in the Tabor, Czech Republic round of the World Cup for the second straight year.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

Last year's World Cup champion Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) commenced his new World Cup campaign with a convincing win in Tábor, Czech Republic. Just as he did last year at the Tábor round, one the Belgian's four World Cup triumphs the prior season, Pauwels rode away from his rivals in the closing laps to notch a solo victory.

Near the end of the seventh of nine laps Pauwels made his move, separating himself from the four-man lead group containing teammate Klaas Vantornout, world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and young Dutch phenom Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team). Vantornout played his team role to perfection as the Sunweb-Revor riders rode 1-2 at the front and Vantornout let a gap grow to Pauwels which neither Albert nor van der Haar could close.

"This time it took longer," Pauwels said, comparing this victory to last year's solo win in Tabor. "Earlier I was unable to drop Niels. Thanks to Klaas, who played team tactics, I received a couple of metres. That was enough. It was hard but it worked out well."

On the final lap Albert and van der Haar dropped Vantornout with the young Dutchman winning the sprint for second against Albert, a fine performance for the 21-year-old Rabobank-Giant rider's first World Cup in the elite ranks.

"I can't believe it. I didn't expect it to go so fast. Last night I dreamed of a top-5 result, now I know that I can get somewhere in this sport," van der Haar said after his second place performance in Tábor. "This course suits me to perfection. I'm going really well and I'm technically good so in these corners they couldn't drop me."

Van der Haar was pragmatic about the Sunweb-Revor team tactics which prevented a potential sprint for victory. "That's racing, I understand them. It's part of the race but it's not fun," said van der Haar.

Vantornout finished alone in fourth place, 27 seconds behind Pauwels, while Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) finished a frustrating fifth place eight seconds later, yet still a remarkable result considering his early misfortune. The Belgian champion rode dominantly at the front of the pack but then his chain snapped at the beginning of the third lap. "Suddenly I was kicking in the air," Nys said.

After Nys got a new bike from the pits he found himself in 22nd place, more than 40 seconds behind the leaders, and he set to work with a lengthy pursuit. "At first I thought that I would be able to join the large chase group behind the leaders and then aim for a last-lap effort," said Nys. "Once I bridged up to them I was able to continue. I had a very good day."

Eight seconds behind Nys, Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) won the sprint for sixth place ahead of U.S. champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Twan van den Brand and Simon Zahner. After his career best World Cup result in Plzen last year, a 10th place finish, Powers showed a lot of improvement in Tábor. During the second half of the race Powers moved up in the large chase group and started setting the pace.

Powers's result is the best-ever World Cup finish from an American in the elite men's ranks, an honor previously held by Jonathan Page with eighth place finishes at Igorre and Hoogerheide in the 2009-2010 season.

Local rider Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) rode in the lead group during the first half of the race, then rode alone in fifth place for a long time but in the closing laps he ran out of steam. Simunek ultimately finished in 11th place, 54 seconds behind Pauwels.

Full Results
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor1:04:58
2Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:14
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:16
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:27
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:35
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:43
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus0:00:45
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:46
9Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
10Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:00:54
11Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:00:55
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:21
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:01:35
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:44
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:01:45
17Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:49
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:56
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:02:07
21Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:02:13
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:14
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:02:15
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:16
25Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:19
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:02:20
27Guillaume Perrot (Fra)0:02:25
28Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:30
29Jonathan Page (USA)0:02:44
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:45
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:02:52
33Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:02:54
34Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:03:01
35Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:03:17
36Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:03:30
37Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:38
38Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo0:03:39
39Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:47
40David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:03:51
41Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea0:03:52
42Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:04:33
43Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:04:38
44Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:04:43
45Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica0:05:17
46Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:06:12
47Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:06:21
48Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes0:06:40
49Marco Bianco (Ita)-1lap
50Milan Barenyi (Svk)
51Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93-2laps
52Andrea Masciarelli (Ita)-3laps
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea
DSQPetr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized

Overall standings after round 1
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor80pts
2Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team70
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus65
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor60
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony55
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team50
7Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea46
9Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team44
10Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team42
11Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus40
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team39
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea38
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat37
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team36
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team35
17Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author34
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team33
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus32
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole31
21Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor30
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus29
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite28
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus27
25Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team26
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea25
27Guillaume Perrot (Fra)24
28Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea23
29Jonathan Page (USA)22
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus20
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized19
33Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco18
34Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL17
35Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda16
36Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea15
37Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team14
38Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo13
39Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite12
40David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor11
41Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10
42Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)9
43Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks8
44Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor7
45Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6
46Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda5
47Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea4
48Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3
49Marco Bianco (Ita)2
50Milan Barenyi (Svk)1

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