Kevin Pauwels won the classic Koppenberg Cross in Oudenaarde today. Zdenek put in a strong performance, but lost contact with Pauwels after switching bikes. “I’m disappointed and happy at the same time. Finishing third here is always good.”
Zdenek had a quiet start in this traditionally difficult race and carefully watched how things unfolded at the front during the first lap. Pauwels launched the first serious attack during the second lap, looking for three extra points in the GVA Trophy classification at the top of the Koppenberg. Styby came up short at first, but was back in the mix later in the race.
Sven Nys, an eight-time winner in Oudenaarde, also had good legs today. The trio rode away from the rest of the pack and battled for the win. A little later, things went wrong for Styby. “I made a mistake by going for different tires in the pit. I quickly fell behind because of that.”
While the world champion was struggling with the wrong tires, Nys got a flat. Pauwles forced the pace and went on to secure an impressive victory. “I took too many risks after my mistake in the pits and almost fell. That affected me mentally.”
Styby was quick to recognize Pauwels’ latest victory. “Congratulations to him. He was really strong again. As for me, my fitness is improving. I’m feeling more and more powerful.” The victory sees Pauwels take the lead in the overall GVA Trophy classification.