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"Actually, I live on a cloud. Today I again take a very beautiful victory. For a while, I've been riding with a good feeling and I get enormous support from my fans. As it is now, it's gorgeous."

CYCLO-CROSS

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KEVIN PAUWELS

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11.11.2016 @ 18:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Toon Aerts won the Jaarmarktcross in Niel. The European champion was too fast for Kevin Pauwels and Corné van Kessel. Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel both skipped the race in Niel.

 
We have gathered a few reactions.
 

Toon Aerts: I am living on a cloud

"Actually, I live on a cloud. Today I again take a very beautiful victory," Toon Aerts told Het Nieuwsblad afterwards. "For a while, I've been riding with a good feeling and I get enormous support from my fans. As it is now, it's gorgeous. I rode in front for a long time and I start to prefer to do it in that way. I went as fast as possible and could again stay ahead today. However, I had to watch out on the bevel of the Rupeldijk.”

 

His team mates have given him the nickname 'Tony 450.

 

"I was given the name at a team training," he explained. "We had to do an exercise stress test which consisted of riding uphill for twenty minutes. I did 450 watts and immediately the nickname was born, a great thing.”

 

On Friday, it looked like it came to nothing when Aerts slipped in a bend. 

 

"I was lucky to have enough of an advantage to take it easy. It was a real ’strompelcross' in some places. Everyone have made a mistake in this race. I did notpanic and could start the final lap with peace of mind. Jim Aernouts in particular was strong in the first part of the race. I was riding with him but unfortunately he could not keep my wheel. I'm glad I could win in Niel because this is a cyclo-cross race with tradition. Of course, getting my European title was even better.

 

Pauwels: It was an accumulation of setbacks

Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) finished second behind Toon Aerts. 

 

"I had an enormous amount of bad luck today. It started when I entered the bridge.  I had to unclip and put the foot on the ground. Hence, I started the second lap completely at the back," Pauwels told Het Nieuwsblad. "Then I crashed a few times. Moreover, I had to stop to take care of my shoe. It was an accumulation of setbacks today. So to speak, I had to chase from the start.”

 

"At one point, I was 40 seconds behind the leader. After that I could reduce that gap to ten seconds. I believed in it but when I no longer got closer to Toon Aerts, I knew that second place would be the most viable," said Pauwels. "I still have not won this season, but I will continue and hope that first win of the season will arrive as soon as possible."

 

Van Kessel: I cannot complain of this third place

Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) finished third. On the finishing straight, the Dutchman tried to pass Kevin Pauwels, but the Belgian took second place behind Toon Aerts.

 

"I was pleased that it was less slippery than expected, especially with the rain that fell in recent days,” the 25-year-old Van Kessel told Het Nieuwsblad. "I was held back a bit at the start when we rode from the bridge into the field. In the carousel or the spider web, I could move up. Toon Aerts suddenly joined me. I could just stay with him but soon realized that I was not able to follow him in this races. He did not wait for me because Kevin Pauwels was approaching.

 

"It was great Toon has done today," Van Kessel said of his teammate. "He has again shown that he is more than worthy of the European jersey. Last summer he was strong and he draws that line further. In the last lap, I still had a lot of power and tried to catch Kevin Pauwels. In the final straight I tried to pass him over with a sprint, but he just looked back and accelerated. I cannot complain of this third place.”

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