Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) powered to victory on Sunday in the Soudal Cyclocross Leuven.
With four laps remaining the race had come down to a three-man battle among Nys, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), who quickly got the ball rolling on the tough, technical circuit, attacking early and often.
Going into bell lap it seemed anyone’s race — until Meeusen suffered a mechanical while on the front. He waved the others through, and Nys punched it, leaving Pauwels behind.
The world champion quickly built a five-second gap, and that would be enough. He hit the pavement first and coasted to the win ahead of Pauwels, while behind, Meeusen recovered and gassed it to finish third.