Kevin Pauwels solos to Tabor World Cup opener with penultimate lap attack
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kevin Pauwels solos to Tabor World Cup opener with penultimate lap attack

by Ben Atkins at 10:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
 
Broken chain ends Nys’ chances in fast Czech race; van Paassen outsprints Compton in women’s event

Kevins PauwelsKevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) got the defence of his cyco;cross World Cup crown off to a perfect start, with a solo victory in the series opener in Tabor, Czech Republic. The 28-year-old Belgian accelerated in the penultimate lap of the fast course to escape a group containing Sunweb-Revor teammate Klaas Vantournout, World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and World under-23 champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant).

Once he had opened up a gap, Pauwels managed to hold off the chase, and finish 14 seconds clear; Albert and van der Haar managed to drop Vantornout in the final lap and, as van der Haar opened up his sprint, Albert had no answer and conceded second place to the Dutch rider.

Vantornout took fourth place, with a charging Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) taking fifth, with the Belgian champion’s chance of victory effectively having ended in the third lap as a broken chain saw him drop out of the lead group.

A fast start to the race saw a group of six riders pull away from the rest in the opening laps, made up of: Nys, van der Haar, Pauwels, Vantornout, Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).

World champion Albert managed to fight his way up to the leaders at the start of the third lap. Almost as soon as Albert made it to the front, disaster struck for Nys as the Belgian champion’s chain snapped half way around the course. A combination of running and freewheeling downhills saw him get to the pits for a new bike, but it saw the Kannibaal lose considerable time and put him back in the chasing pack.

Meeusen began to find the pace too hot, and began to drift backwards, as did Simunek after a while; with Pauwels leading the way, Vantornout, van der Haar and Albert began to pull clear of the home rider.

As Albert took over the lead, the four-man group steadily opened up its advantage over the rest, as Meeusen was absorbed by the big chase group behind. Nys was scything his way through the field, and was in the middle of this group as it crossed the line with four laps to go; they were 25 seconds behind the leaders however and, as Pauwels attacked up front, the prospect of catching then looked very small indeed.

US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was leading the chase, and making gradual progress as the four men in the lead began to test one another. With three laps to go the gap was down to 19 seconds, with Simunek still stranded in between the two groups.

The two Sunweb-Revor riders in the lead group began to make their numerical advantage count, and Pauwels began to edge away from the others. Nys meanwhile, had escaped the rest of the chase group and was bearing down on Simunek; the Belgian champion caught up with the Czech rider shortly into the penultimate lap, but both were 25 seconds behind Pauwels once more.

At the bell Pauwels was 17 seconds clear of the three chasers, led by Albert, with Nys now 34 seconds back. Powers was still leading the chase, another ten seconds behind Nys, but the Belgian champion was pulling away from the American.

Albert accelerated and gapped Vantornout, but the World elite champion had the under-23 champion in van der Haar firmly clinging to his wheel. Neither looked likely to catch Pauwels at this late stage however, but were fighting over the final podium places.

Having conceded just a few seconds of his lead, Pauwels sat up and raised his arms as he took his first victory of the season; 14 seconds behind him, Albert sat up as soon as van der Haar opened up his sprint, and conceded the second place to the Rabobank Giant rider.

Vantornout came in after 26 seconds, with Nys crossing the line alone after 34.

Sanne van Paassen outsprints Katie Compton to take women’s race

A similarly fast women’s race saw Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank) outsprint US champion Katie Compton (Trek) in a tight two up sprint after escaping British champion Helen Wyman (Kona) in the closing stages of the race. Wyman managed to hold off the attentions of a group of chasers - led by Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) - to take third place, and her first World Cup podium in more than five years.

A fast start to the race saw a group of 13 riders pull clear of the rest, but an acceleration from van Paassen soon pulled Wyman, and then Compton, clear. The three riders steadily distanced the rest, with a chase group of Cant, Nikki Harris and Pavla Havlikova (both Telenet-Fidea), Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) and Jasmin Achermann (Swi) trying to keep them in touch.

In the third from last lap van Paassen and Compton managed to shed Wyman, and the British champion began to drift back towards the chasers. The two leaders continued together, with neither able to get rid of the other in the closing laps; Compton led into the finishing straight, but van Paassen’s sprint proved to be faster in the dash for the line.

Result World Cup Tabor elite men
1. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team
3. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
5. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
6. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink-Leontien.nl
7. Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus
8. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
9. Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
10. Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team

Result World Cup Tabor elite women
1. Sanne van Paassen (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team
2. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective
3. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing
4. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
5. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
6. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)
7. Jasmin Achermann (Swi)
8. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea
9. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com
10. Gabriella Day (GBr) Rapha-Focus

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