Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) finally rid himself of rival Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and soloed to victory on Saturday as the cyclocross World Cup came to Igorre, Spain.
Nys was strong early on the muddy, grassy circuit, and when he took the lead only Pauwels could bridge up to him. But a late flat separated the two and after switching bikes at the pits Nys could not rejoin the World Cup leader, who rode on alone to claim his second World Cup win of the season.
Nys held on for second at 45 seconds down. Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) crossed third at 59 seconds.
“This win gives me a lot of pleasure,” Pauwels told Belgian TV afterward. As for consolidating his lead in the series, he said, “It looks good, but the final victory is far from being a reality.”
Nys, meanwhile, gave credit where credit was due.
“Pauwels deserved to win today,” he said. “In the end I’m happy with second place.”
- 1. Kevin Pauwels (BEL), Sunweb-Revor, at 1:02:31
- 2. Sven Nys (BEL), Landbouwkrediet, at 0:45
- 3. Tom Meeusen (BEL), Telenet-Fidea, at 0:59
- 4. Bart Aernouts (BEL), Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team, at 1:06
- 5. Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Quick Step Cycling Team, at 1:26