Lotto Belisol: Report Scheldeprijs
The story of the 102nd Scheldeprijs is easily told. After eight kilometers six riders escaped from the peloton: Balykin, Bazzana, Fedi, Ghyselinck, Gruzdev and Rowe. Jimmy Engoulvent tried to bridge, came to five seconds of the leaders, but could never join them. The front group got a maximal advantage of 5’10”. About halfway the race the escapees had to wait at a level crossing, but the race jury let them leave with the same lead, that was around one minute. They got more space again and stayed ahead until the last of three local laps of 16.4 km each.
Luke Rowe attacked with seven kilometers to go. Fedi took his chance as well, but all escapees were reeled in by the bunch. Marcel Kittel turned out to be the strongest in the sprint and won the Scheldeprijs for the third year in a row. Tyler Farrar claimed the second place, Danny Van Poppel completed the podium. Kenny Dehaes became sixteenth.
Kenny Dehaes: “The race wasn’t as hard as we had hoped, so everybody was still fresh at the end. The team did a perfect job. We tried to form echelons, a group of 50 riders with Sagan and Farrar lost contact, but the closed level crossing brought it all back together. Everything went perfect until the final kilometer. It was a chaotic sprint. I was in the wheel of Farrar, but lost it and so I got closed in. Then it’s over, I couldn’t pas anywhere. Not all riders tried to claim their position in a fair way. Much more was possible, the legs were good. First of all I’m glad I could stay on my bike, but I am disappointed with this result. Sunday I will ride Paris-Roubaix, where I might join an early breakaway and next week it’s the GP de Denain, where I want to play along for the victory.”