What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Soudal: Preview Scheldeprijs

This year it’s the 103rd edition of the Scheldeprijs, with start in Antwerp and finish in Schoten. The last three years Marcel Kittel dominated this Europe Tour race, the German won three times in a row. It’s not sure if it will be a bunch sprint again this year. The course is completely flat. After 150 kilometres the riders enter the first of three local laps.

Two Lotto Soudal riders that were on the original team roster won’t appear at the start, the team has only seven riders in the selection. Kris Boeckmans isn’t recovered from his illness yet and André Greipel won’t start on doctor’s advice after a tiring Tour of Flanders. Sports director Bart Leysen has to change the plans: “Of course it’s a pity that André and Kris won’t start. Both are fast and with Kittel and Cavendish not on the start list our chances had grown. Now we’ll have to change our plans.”

“Due to the absence of some sprinters it’s possible there won’t be a sprint for the victory. We have to be prepared for two scenarios. If there is a sprint, we can rely on guys like Henderson, Vallée and De Buyst. Bak, De Gendt, Dockx and Vanendert can try something in the race. The composition of the breakaways will be crucial.”

Jasper De Buyst will ride his first road race of the season, after he took some rest after the track season.

Jasper De Buyst: “I’m looking forward to race again, especially because it’s on the road. My last road races dates back to October last year. I took sufficient rest after the track season, that was necessary. After two and a half weeks I started training again. I have been ill, but all things considered I had a good rest and training period. My condition seems to be good, but I’ll see how the legs feel in the race tomorrow. I’ll need some time to adjust to the race rhythm. The Scheldeprijs is a predictable race, with a realistic chance of a bunch sprint at the end. This is a typical race, there are not much races on the pro calendar that are so flat. It’s always a nervous race. I think it’s a beautiful race and perfect to start my road season.”

Selection Lotto Soudal: Lars Bak, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Gert Dockx, Greg Henderson, Boris Vallée and Dennis Vanendert.

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