Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) leads Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)
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Pauwels poised to pounce, just 10 points behind Nys
The UCI released its fourth cyclo-cross rankings of the year on Tuesday, following a weekend in which all categories – elite men, elite women, under 23 men and junior men – raced the third round of the World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.
Nys remains atop the men’s elite UCI standings for the fourth straight time this season with 2,210 points, with Pauwels continuing as the second-ranked rider.
Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) outsprinted Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) to win both Saturday’s World Cup in Koksijde (in a controversial finale) as well as Sunday’s Superprestige round in Gieten, The Netherlands.
Pauwels, however, has been steadily chipping away at Nys’s lead which stood at 160 points in the season’s first rankings but has now been reduced to a tenuous 10 points. In addition to finishing as runner-up in both races this past weekend, Pauwels has also scored points with wins at Superprestige Gavere and the GP Hasselt (round 3 of the GvA Trofee), races in which Nys failed to score any points with the year-round rolling points system.
The riders ranked third through sixth overall remained unchanged with Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step), Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) holding third through sixth respectively.
Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) moved into seventh overall, followed by teammate Lars van der Haar in eighth. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) dropped from seventh to ninth while teammate Tom Meeusen held steady in 10th place.
The highest ranked North American continues to be the USA’s Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus), who moved from 14th to 11th overall with 924 points.
There were no changes in the top-10 nations ranking for elite men, with Belgium unsurprisingly continuing its dominance with 6,134 points. The top five is completed by France (2,922), Czech Republic (2,524), Netherlands (2,523) and the United States (2,144) in second through fifth respectively.
Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) continues to lead the elite women’s rankings with 1,900 points. Since the last standings were released on November 8, Compton swept the weekend of racing at the US Gran
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