Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Sanne Van Passen (Rabobank) won the elite men’s and women’s categories at the opening round of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup in Tabor, Czech Republic.
Pauwels saw off the challenge of Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) and world champion, Neiles Albert (BKCP-Power Plus), while Van Passen outsprinted US champion, Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclo-Cross Collective).
Great Britain’s Helen Wyman led the opening laps of the elite women’s race before being passed by Compton and Van Passen, but her third place, 45 seconds behind the leading pair, represented a strong start to her World Cup challenge.
Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) finished fifth and tenth respectively, leaving Great Britain with three riders in the top 10.
Compton looked the stronger of the leading pair on the final lap, but a determined effort from Van Passen allowed her to cling to Compton’s rear wheel, before a determined effort in the final sprint carried her past her American rival.
In the elite men’s race, Pauwels recorded a convincing victory, crossing the line alone, some 14 seconds ahead of the charging Van der Haar, who passed a seemingly disconsolate Albert, who didn’t bother to contest the sprint for second.
Belgian champion, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), snapped his chain on lap three, but staged an impressive recovery to finish fifth, just 35 seconds behind Pauwels.
British champion, Ian Field, finished 2.45 down in thirty-second place. He Tweeted: “Tough day at the office. Less than 3mins down in a world cup and outside the top 30. Marginal gains needed.”
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup 2012-13 round one – result
1) Kevin Pauwels (BEL) – Sunweb-Revor – 1.04.58
2) Lars van der Haar (NED) – Rabobank-Giant +14”
3) Niels Albert (BEL) – BKCP – Powerplus +16”
4) Klaas Vantornout (BEL) – Sunweb-Revor +27”
5) Sven Nys (BEL) – Landbouwkrediet-KDL +35”
6) Bart Aernouts (BEL) – AA Drink +43”
7) Jeremy Powers (USA) – Rapha-Focus +45”
8) Tom Meeusen (BEL) – Telenet-Fidea +46”
9) Twan van den Brand (NED) – Orange Babies
10) Simon Zahner (SWI) – EKZ +54”
1) Sanne van Paassen (NED) – Rabobank – 40.57″
2) Katie Compton (USA) – Trek
3) Helen Wyman (GBR) – Kona +36”
4) Sanne Cant (BEL) – Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP +49”
5) Nikki Harris (GBR) – Young Telenet-Fidea +50”
6) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (FRA) – Hitec Products-Mistral Home
7) Jasmin Achermann (SWI) – Rapha-Focus +52”
8) Pavla Havlikova (CZE) – Young Telenet-Fidea +1.00
9) Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale +1.09
10) Gabriella Day (GBR) – Rapha-Focus +1.25