Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won today’s GP Hasselt, after riding clear of Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) during the final lap.
The duo remained out front for a majority of today’s race, while series leader Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) chased in earnest.
However, Pauwels managed to ride clear of his rival during the final sandy stretch, subsequently opening up a slight gap of a few seconds that would hold until the finish.
Meanwhile, Meeusen led Nys across the line half a minute later – finishing in 3rd and 4th place respectively.
“I felt good today,” Pauwels told the Belgian press, Sport.be. “In the sand I pulled through and I could extend my lead during subsequent laps.”
In other race details, Lars Van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) and Sven Vanthourenhout found themselves fighting their way back to the lead group, after both of them suffered bad starts in today’s race, to include a fall for Vanthourenhout early on.
Both finished at more than a minute down from Pauwels in 5th and 7th spots.
Nys now leads the Bpost Bank Trofee series, with Pauwels still in second – followed by Van Aert in third.
Pauwels had this to say about the overall standings:
“I did not expect that I could make up so much time,” he said. “Maybe there is something possible, but that remains to be seen. I can have a bad day.”
Nys also admitted that he did not start well today either, and “tried to lose as little time as possible.” “I lost it today in the first lap.”
1 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team
3 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
4 Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan – AA Drink Team
5 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team
6 Corné Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
7 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan – AA Drink Team
8 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon – KwadrO Cycling Team
9 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team
10 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
11 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon – KwadrO Cycling Team
12 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP – Powerplus Cycling Team
13 Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team
14 Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team
15 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing
16 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team
17 Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continentaal Team
18 Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon – KwadrO Cycling Team
19 Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team
20 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Corendon – KwadrO Cycling Team
In women’s race, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) continued her winning streak, after riding away from world road champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) and Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) in the final lap.
“It was a fast course, and there were few places where you could make a difference,” said Cant, who collected her 13th victory of the season through slipping away “meter by meter.”
Ferrand-Prévot set the tempo early on in today’s race, while Helen Wyman struggled to stay onboard with the French world road champion who was quickly shadowed by Cant, Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea), De Boer and Pavla Havlikova (Young Telenet-Fidea).
Indeed, while Wyman continued to slip back, Cant proceeded to make her way to the front – all the while picking up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint – ahead of De Boer and Van Loy – during the second lap.
An acceleration from Ferrand-Prévot half-way through the race, served to move her and Cant further up front, while De Boer and Van Loy began to fall back.
However, De Boer quickly managed to bridge herself back to the two leaders, and even managed to distance them during the penultimate lap.
But, Ferrand-Prévot and Cant proceeded to reel De Boer back in, while Van Loy continued to remain further back.
From there, Cant decided to put the hammer down – this time distancing herself from Ferrand-Prévot and De Boer, who struggled to chase down the Belgian rider.
As the race hit the final lap, Cant was holding a 10 second lead over Ferrand-Prévot and De Boer, which served to hold until the finish.
Meanwhile, Van Loy finished in fourth place, at 25 seconds back, while Havlikova was best of the rest, finishing well ahead of Sels and Wyman, but more than a minute behind Cant.
Elle Anderson (Kalas-NNOF) was the best placed US rider – finishing in 10th spot.
After today’s results, Cant moves into third place in the Bpost Bank Trophy cyclocross series., with De Boer still holding a comfortable lead of 1:33 over Ellen Van Loy.
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