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[Superprestige] Zonhoven
« on: November 03, 2014, 09:09 »
Zonhoven is one of the most watchable CX races and one of the most technically difficult for the riders.

A circuit famous for its sand and that crazy giant downhill, Zonhoven is always won by a combination of supreme skill and tactical guile.

This year's edition gave us a slight surprise in winner Pauwels: for much of the race he had lagged far behind until seemingly spurred into action by the crash of teammate and pre-race favourite Vantornout on the aforementioned downhill.

Up front, the youngsters had made the race for much of the hour. First-year senior Van Der Poel, son of former CX and road heavyweight Adrie, was very visible as he looked to capitalise on an impressive early season run. Countryman Van der Haar, still only 23, thrashed out the pace from the front. The Dutch champion was joined by Meeusen while the veteran Nys seemed content to fulfill a watching brief.

Nys finally made the move that split the leaders, taking Meeusen with him. Unable to match the acceleration, Van der Haar faded back into the chasers, yet again paying for his efforts early in the race. One hopes that manager Groenendaal will have noticed what is becoming a familiar trend for the youngster.

If the finish looked like a fait accompli for Nys, then the resurgent Pauwels now provided the spectacle, crossing the yawning gap by turning in what must have been among the fastest laps of the day. And while Nys' final acceleration seemed to have sealed the win, a couple of minor mistakes allowed the tenacious Pauwels the opportunity to claw back the difference and slip past the man from Baal on the asphalt, leaving Nys outsprinted for the second day in a row.

Complete race video

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