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Pauwels prevails at Rome 'cross World Cup

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Part of the World Cup circuit in Rome took place on a horse track.

Part of the World Cup circuit in Rome took place on a horse track. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale)

Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea)

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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A disappointed Klaas Vantornout at the finish in Rome after a dropped chain late on the last lap cost him a podium result.

A disappointed Klaas Vantornout at the finish in Rome after a dropped chain late on the last lap cost him a podium result. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Switzerland's Lukas Winterberg (Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes)

Switzerland's Lukas Winterberg (Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) at the head of the four-man lead group.

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) at the head of the four-man lead group. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea)

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The 'cross World Cup round in Rome was not kind to Sven Nys

The 'cross World Cup round in Rome was not kind to Sven Nys (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) leads a chase group

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) leads a chase group (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels soloed to victory at the seventh World Cup round in Rome, Italy.

Kevin Pauwels soloed to victory at the seventh World Cup round in Rome, Italy. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) gathers himself after a disappointing World Cup race in Rome.

Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) gathers himself after a disappointing World Cup race in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Vanthourenhout sets tempo for his Crelan-Euphony teammate Sven Nys who had an off-day in Rome.

Sven Vanthourenhout sets tempo for his Crelan-Euphony teammate Sven Nys who had an off-day in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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lSunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout in the lead together in Rome.

lSunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout in the lead together in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Third place finisher Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) on the podium

Third place finisher Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) on the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A dejected Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at the finish in Rome after a last lap mechanical cost him a podium result.

A dejected Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at the finish in Rome after a last lap mechanical cost him a podium result. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) rues what might have been after a dropped chain late on the final lap cost him a place on the podium.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) rues what might have been after a dropped chain late on the final lap cost him a place on the podium. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won his third World Cup race of the season in Rome.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won his third World Cup race of the season in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Niels Albert on the podium after finishing second at the World Cup round in Rome.

World champion Niels Albert on the podium after finishing second at the World Cup round in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) en route to his first ever World Cup podium result.

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) en route to his first ever World Cup podium result. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Italy's Enrico Franzoi racing a World Cup round on home turf.

Italy's Enrico Franzoi racing a World Cup round on home turf. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys would surrender the World Cup leader's skinsuit at the end of the race.

Sven Nys would surrender the World Cup leader's skinsuit at the end of the race. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Early action at the World Cup 'cross race in Rome.

Early action at the World Cup 'cross race in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Vanthourenhout sets tempo for his ailing Crelan-Euphony teammate Sven Nys.

Sven Vanthourenhout sets tempo for his ailing Crelan-Euphony teammate Sven Nys. (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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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wins the penultimate World Cup round in Rome and draws closer to overall World Cup leader Niels Albert.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wins the penultimate World Cup round in Rome and draws closer to overall World Cup leader Niels Albert. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Elite men's podium (L-R): NIels Albert, Kevin Pauwels and Marco Aurelio Fontana

Elite men's podium (L-R): NIels Albert, Kevin Pauwels and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert regained the World Cup lead in Rome but faces a challenge from compatriot Kevin Pauwels for the overall title at the final round in Hoogerheide.

Niels Albert regained the World Cup lead in Rome but faces a challenge from compatriot Kevin Pauwels for the overall title at the final round in Hoogerheide. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout in the lead together in Rome.

Sunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout in the lead together in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert leads the chase of Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout.

Niels Albert leads the chase of Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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At the end of the race Klaas Vantornout examines the drivetrain which cost him a podium result.

At the end of the race Klaas Vantornout examines the drivetrain which cost him a podium result. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The lightning-fast parcours in Rome made for tight racing in the early laps.

The lightning-fast parcours in Rome made for tight racing in the early laps. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Enrico Franzoi on his way to an 11th place result.

Enrico Franzoi on his way to an 11th place result. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cyclocross Team)

Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cyclocross Team) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Men's winner Kevin Pauwels with his medal and trophy from the World Cup round in Rome.

Men's winner Kevin Pauwels with his medal and trophy from the World Cup round in Rome. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at the head of the race.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at the head of the race. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) lets loose with the bubbly after his third place finish in Rome.

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) lets loose with the bubbly after his third place finish in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Top three finishers at the elite men's World Cup round in Rome (L-R): Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale)

Top three finishers at the elite men's World Cup round in Rome (L-R): Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Elite men's podium for the 'cross World Cup round in Rome (L-R): Niels Albert, Kevin Pauwels and Marco Aurelio Fontana

Elite men's podium for the 'cross World Cup round in Rome (L-R): Niels Albert, Kevin Pauwels and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) on the podium for his third place finish in Rome.

Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) on the podium for his third place finish in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) bunny hops the barriers.

Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) bunny hops the barriers. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) celebrates victory at the World Cup round in Rome.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) celebrates victory at the World Cup round in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) dabs on one of the course's many corners.

Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) dabs on one of the course's many corners. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Enrico Franzoi en route to an 11th place result at his home World Cup in Rome.

Enrico Franzoi en route to an 11th place result at his home World Cup in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the penultimate World Cup round in Rome.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the penultimate World Cup round in Rome. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) was the revelation in Rome, ultimately finishing in third place.

Italian 'cross champion Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) was the revelation in Rome, ultimately finishing in third place. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Third place finisher Marco Aurelio Fontana pays tribute to South African mountain biker Burry Stander who was killed on a training ride three days prior.

Third place finisher Marco Aurelio Fontana pays tribute to South African mountain biker Burry Stander who was killed on a training ride three days prior. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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An ecstatic Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) crosses the finish line in third place.

An ecstatic Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) crosses the finish line in third place. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

On a blisteringly fast course at the Capannelle hippodrome on the outskirts of Rome, one rider showed that he’s hard to beat on this type of course, as the quietly-spoken Belgian rider Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) claimed a convincing win that puts him back in contention for the overall win in the cyclo-cross World Cup. Pauwels joined teammate Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) in front in a tactical move which left World Cup leader and World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) behind in a chase group with Italian champion Marco Aurelia Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Francis Mourey (FDJ-Big Mat). Albert eventually exploited a late mechanical from Vantornout to take second place.

“It was a perfect course for me. It was fast and I could use my power. Niels probably wasn’t happy with our move but that’s the benefit of being with two in a team. Vantornout? It’s too bad, otherwise he would have been runner-up,” Pauwels said.

Thanks to his second place, Albert limited the damage for the overall standings of the World Cup in Rome, losing only ten on Pauwels. Albert now holds 485 points, Pauwels 469. That was in stark contrast to Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), who entered the race as co-leader of the World Cup. Due to illness in the previous weeks, however, Nys was never able to make a fist of it and he steadily lost ground. The Belgian champion finished twentieth and drops back to third place overall with 446 points. “I gave everything but got worse every metre. You can’t defend your chances if you’re ill. I’m not sure if I’ll take part in the Belgian championships [next week]. I wasn’t ill enough to skip this race, but I couldn’t go faster,” Nys told Sporza.

A surprise presence on the podium was Marco Aurelio Fontana. Despite a bad starting position, the Italian worked his way to the front group, helped by the small crowds who showed up to cheer him on. Fontana moved up from a spot outside the top-20 to a fifth place on the third lap. The Italian closed the gap on the four-man lead group with Pauwels, Vantornout, Mourey and Albert few laps later.

In the closing laps, Fontana battled with Albert and Mourey for third place. Albert gapped the Italian but suddenly the duo blasted over Vantornout who stood next to his bike, putting his chain back on the bike. On crossing the line Fontana was exuberant in his celebrations, and by pointing his hands in the air he seemed to dedicate the win to late Burry Stander, the mountain bike rider who died only a few days ago.

Despite his bad luck, Vantornout finished fifth, half a minute behind teammate Pauwels. Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) was best of the rest, winning the sprint for sixth place at 50 seconds from the winner. Van der Haar originally was part of the lead group. During the third lap he even led the race but at that moment he overshot a corner and went over the handlebars.
 

Full Results
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games1:01:17
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:16
3Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:22
4Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:00:27
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:00:32
6Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team0:00:50
7Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah0:00:51
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:53
9Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:01:02
10Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:10
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:01:12
12Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:01:13
13Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team
14Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:14
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
16Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:01:16
17Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:01:34
18Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:01:40
19Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:50
20Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:02:10
21Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
22Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:12
23Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:13
24Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:15
25Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team0:02:18
26Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:22
27Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL0:02:39
28Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:41
29Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:44
30Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:02:56
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:58
32Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica0:03:01
33Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo
34Stefano Capponi (Ita)0:03:15
35Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized0:03:18
36Christian Helmig (Lux) Elbowz Racing p/b Trisport0:03:21
37Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:03:23
38Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL0:03:25
39Fabio Ursi (Ita)0:03:26
40Thomas Paccagnella (Ita) ADV Team0:03:27
41Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:35
42Martin Loo (Est)0:03:49
43Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:05:03
44Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes0:05:41
45Adrien Pascal (Fra)-1lap
46Robert Glajza (Svk)-3laps
47David Quist (Nor)-4laps

World Cup standings after round 7
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus485pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games469
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony446
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games356
5Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team341
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team336
7Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah311
8Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ300
9Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team283
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea276
11Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea250
12Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team236
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite235
14Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team233
15Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus232
16Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team219
17Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea218
18Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team214
19Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus213
20Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus212
21Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team189
22Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team187
23Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea178
24Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole174
25Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor165
26Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah155
27Jonathan Page (USA)145
28Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus142
29Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team138
30Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea122
31Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus113
32Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL101
33Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks94
34Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ93
35Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL90
36Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor85
37Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author83
38Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea77
39Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube75
40Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing65
41Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep65
42Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9365
43Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)63
44Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica58
45Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld57
46Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized57
47Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite54
48Guillaume Perrot (Fra)46
49Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda46
50Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized43
51Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo43
52Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)42
53Christian Helmig (Lux) Elbowz Racing p/b Trisport42
54Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)35
55Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games34
56Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony30
57Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing29
58Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)26
59David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor26
60Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea26
61Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept23
62Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet23
63Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21
64Justin Lindine (USA) Redline18
65Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek18
66Stefano Capponi (Ita)17
67Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes16
68Kenneth Hansen (Den) Baboco15
69Robert Glajza (Svk)15
70Lewis Rattray (Aus)15
71Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de14
72Aaron Schooler (Can) Norco Bicycles - SRI Importing13
73Adrien Pascal (Fra)13
74Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)13
75Fabio Ursi (Ita)12
76Ole Quast (Ger)12

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