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Echoes

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Re: Tribute to Kevin Pauwels (for his last race)
« on: February 26, 2019, 23:08 »
It's amazing that he could win in his final race. I certainly did not expect that and that's why I predicted that his last win would be Zonnebeke against Pidcock. I found it symbolic for him to beat the next great talent after Mathieu and Wout, albeit a Pidcock not in full bloom yet.

Here in Oostmalle, he could beat some of the best riders in Wout's & Mathieu's absence. Just have a look at the top10:

1.   Kevin Pauwels
2.   Toon Aerts
3.   Tom Meeusen
4.   Lars van der Haar (Ned)
5.   Laurens Sweeck
6.   Tim Merlier
7.   Michael Boros (Cze)
8.   Jim Aernouts
9.   Jens Adams
10.   Nicolas Cleppe

I watched a bit of the coverage (not live but afterwards). Toon Aerts claimed both before and after the race he didn't/wouldn't give Kevin any presents. Kevin had to fight to get the win. I particularly appreciate Tom Meeusen's post-race interview. I didn't suspect he was such a good friend. Tom was asked about his own final part of the season in which he showed great form but he would just say he's most of all very glad for Kevin to end his career that way. When asked whether he would've let him win if they had finished with the two of them, Tom just replied "He was good enough to finish it off himself". Then he mainly remember him as a good teammate (they long raced together at Fidea) and a nice guy ("een toffe gast") whom he will surely keep in touch with later (if I understood correctly).

Many think that Kevin stopped too early though: Adrie Van der Poel was the first to say it but he understands that there are many factors that can motivate a decision, Geert Wellens also said it and Tom. At age 34 (almost 35), it's for sure a bit early for a cyclocross rider, certainly when you see that he could win races again (which he didn't in the past two years) but only the rider himself can take the decision. I'll sure miss him a lot.


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