“Boonen festival” in “Boonen land”
For once the fans didn’t find their way to the MAS but went to Mol, the home town of Tom Boonen, instead to witness the start of the 105th Scheldeprijs. This would be Tom Boonen’s last race on Belgium soil and looking at the huge crowd gathered in Mol it was an happening that many cycling fans didn’t want to miss. After several local honors for Tom the official start of the race was given by his grandfather, Raymond Boonen.
Once the local laps in Mol were passed the traditional breakaway with Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Julien Stassen (WB - Veranclassic), Stijn Steels (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Christophe Prémont (Veranda’s Willems-Crelan), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina), Marco Mathis (Katusha) en Pim Ligthart (Roompot) were given a 5 minutes lead. After 100 km the peloton increased the speed and under the lead of Boonen and Sagan the breakaway was caught swiftly.
Near the end of the race the favorites, in expectation of the traditional sprint at the Churchillaan, directed their lead-outs to the front of the peloton. Unfortunately Dylan Groenwegen and Andre Greipel were held-up by a fall in the middle of the peloton with less than four kilometers to go. This opened the door for Kittel to add his fifth victory in the Scheldeprijs in his already impressive career.