Pauwels stunning in Tabor

With an impressive long solo effort on a fast course Belgian rider Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) won the second round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Tabor, Czech Republic. World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Cycling Team) held off Pauwels' teammate Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) for second place, 32 seconds behind.

Pauwels takes over the lead in the World Cup from Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL) who finished fifth in Tabor.

"I went flat out together with Stybar but when he pitted I ended up alone in front even though I didn't want it that way. The speed dropped behind me, possibly thanks to Klaas.

"When I had half a minute I knew the victory was mine. This win felt a bit like the one in Heusden-Zolder last year when I was alone in front too although this time it was much longer. On a course like this I belong to the big four [riders]. On a tough course I'm happy with a top five result," Pauwels said on Sporza TV.

Pauwels powered away in the third lap with world champion and home rider Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Cycling Team). Soon after their breakaway move, Stybar punctured and switched bikes. It cost him his position in front and Pauwels didn't hesitate to go flat out to keep him behind.

Stybar quickly bounced back and launched the chase behind, but couldn't close the final metres on Pauwels. One lap later Pauwels had eight seconds on Stybar and Vantornout and 15 seconds on a group with Nys, Mourey, Bart Aernouts (Rabobank – Giant-Offroad), Radomir Simunek, Jr, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Steve Chainel (FDJ).

Albert got a bad start for the second week in a row, but this time not due to absent-minded officials. He moved up in the chase group during the fifth lap and he bridged back up with Stybar and Vantornout. The latter was the perfect teammate for Pauwels as he often moved up and slowed the group down.

With four laps to go Pauwels suddenly had 24 seconds on the nine chasers. Albert and Stybar tried a few more times to tear the group apart and gain back time on Pauwels, but Vantornout was always there to keep them under control. At the end of the fifth lap the duo looked back in the group and glanced at the clock and noticed their efforts were futile: Pauwels was 39 seconds up the road and all the other chasers were still there.

"I felt really strong today," Vantornout said. "It wasn't up to me to close the gap and nobody else got more than 10 meters from me. Sometimes I felt I could ride even faster and in the last two laps I raced along to shake off a strong Mourey."

With three more laps to go there were no more attempts to up the pace in the chase group and it was Vantornout who set a reasonable pace while his teammate was almost a minute ahead of him. Simunek figured he had a chance to please the home crowd and the Czech moved up. His acceleration created some damage and Simunek got away with Vantornout and Stybar. When the world champion took over the command only Vantornout was able to follow. This time Vantornout started taking serious pulls in front as Pauwels was out of reach.

Stybar and Vantornout gained a gap of 12 seconds on the other chase group where Chainel and Albert lost ground, while last week's winner Nys didn't have the punch to cause damage. While Pauwels cruised to the victory in the last lap Stybar powered away from Vantornout towards second place.

"I hoped to win today but Kevin Pauwels was the strongest," Stybar said. "Puncturing didn't help and I didn't know if I would be able to stay with him despite that feat. I tried to close the gap but it didn't happen. My legs felt slightly better than last week but the form isn't there yet."

Behind them Mourey and Nys fought for fourth place and it was the French champion who easily won the sprint. Meeusen and Aernouts grabbed sixth and seventh and then suddenly Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) popped out of nowhere to grab ninth place ahead of Chainel. Enrico Franzoi (Selle Italia Guerciotti) rode a great last lap to finish eleventh, just ahead of Albert who ran out of gas in the final.

In the background, Jeremy Powers was riding as the top North American, but was unable to keep up with Wellens when he was launching his comeback into the top 10 after a bad start. Powers clocked constant lap times and eventually it resulted in a 15th position at the finish line.

Half a minute later Johnson finished seventeenth after fighting back from a bad start that put him into 30th place. An even worse start was the verdict for Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld). He was held up by an early crash from Tommy Nielsen (Denmark) and it put him out of the top 50 during the first lap.

Nevertheless Driscoll started riding at a steady pace and eventually he turned into the last corner of the race in 32nd position, trying to beat Martin Zlamalik (KDL-Trans) in the sprint. Sadly enough Driscoll went down in the corner and his chain dropped. The unlucky American was forced to run towards the finish line and he eventually threw his bike just ahead of Jiri Polnicky (Sunweb-Revor) in 36th place.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Revor1:02:58
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet - Fidea0:00:32
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:00:35
4Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise des Jeux0:00:40
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:41
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:49
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.0:00:52
8Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:57
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:59
10Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP - Powerplus
12Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:00
13Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing0:01:01
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:17
15Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha/Focus0:01:24
16Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam de Rijke0:01:48
17Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:01:56
18Knegt Gerben De (Ned) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.0:02:00
19Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com0:02:02
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:02:10
21Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Hirumet0:02:11
22Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Team Big-Mat Auber 930:02:15
23Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:22
24Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink/ Pro0:02:24
25Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
26Petr Dlask (Cze) Rubena Birell Specialized0:02:27
27Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:02:28
28Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi
29David Kášek (Cze) Cyklo Team Tábor0:02:41
30Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:58
31Martin Zlámalík (Cze) KDL Trans-Landbouwkrediet0:03:00
32Marco Ponta (Ita)0:03:17
33Fabio Ursi (Ita) C.S.Esercito
34Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink/ Pro0:03:23
35Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:03:26
36James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com0:03:27
37Jirí Polnický (Cze) Sunweb - Revor Team
38Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:03:34
39Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:03:47
40Melvin Rulliere (Fra)0:03:54
41Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans-Landbouwkrediet
42Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:03:58
43Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike/Blue0:04:05
44Milan Barenyi (Svk)0:04:08
45Marco Bianco (Ita) L'Arcobaleno Carraro Team0:04:09
46Ole Quast (Ger)0:04:13
47Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:30
48Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:04:38
49Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:04:47
50Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:49
51Kobus Hereijgers (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:05:18
52Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-Focus0:05:31
53Zdenek Mlynár (Cze) Focus Cycling Znojmo0:05:40
54Tommy Nielsen (Den)0:05:49
55Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica0:06:05
56Václav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:06:13
57Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:06:51
58 (-3 laps)Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica
59Joachim Parbo (Den) Challenge Tires
60 (-4 laps)Karl Heinz Gollinger (Aut)
61 (-5 laps)Jürgen Pechhacker (Aut)
62 (-6 laps)Michael Haydn (Aut)

Elite men - World Cup standings after 2 rounds

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor150pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet135
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team135
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor120
5Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ120
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea100
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team96
8Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus86
9Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ86
10Niels Albert (Bel) Bkcp - Powerplus85
11Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea83
12Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus78
13Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing76
14Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti72
15Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team69
16Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke69
17Simon Zahner (Swi) Bmc Racing Team65
18Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com65
19Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Cycling Team62
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole57
21Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 9357
22Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team49
23Cristian Cominelli (Ita) TX Active Bianchi48
24Marcel Meisen (Ger)45
25Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Kdl Trans42
26Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles40
27Petr Dlask (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team39
28Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike38
29Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team38
30Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - Cycling Team38
31Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus37
32David Kasek (Cze)35
33Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.De33
34Marco Bianco (Ita)33
35Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com32
36Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)30
37Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)27
38James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com22
39Robert Gavenda (Svk) Kdl Trans22
40Karel Hnik (Cze) Telenet - Fidea20
41Marco Ponta (Ita)19
42Jérome Chevallier (Fra)19
43Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team19
44Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team19
45Fabio Ursi (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.18
46Ondrej Bambula (Cze)17
47Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet16
48Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Sunweb - Revor14
49Melvin Rulliere (Fra)11
50Nico Brüngger (Swi)11
51René Lang (Swi)10
52Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)10
53Martin Haring (Svk)9
54Milan Barenyi (Svk)9
55Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team9
56Magnus Darvell (Swe)7
57Ole Quast (Ger)5
58Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)3
59Kenneth Hansen (Den)1


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