Philipsen triumphs in Schoten just as he did in 2021
For the second time, Jasper Philipsen has added the Scheldeprijs to his list of successes. He sprinted to victory ahead of Sam Welsford. Mark Cavendish completed the podium.
Under a bright blue sky, the 111th Scheldeprijs started on the Stadhuisplein in Terneuzen. At 12:45, the men set off on their journey of 205.3 km. The early breakaway took place just before the exit from the Westerscheldt tunnel and thus immediately after the official start. There were 7 in the group: Desal (Bingoal WB), Apers (Flanders Baloise), Kench (Bolton Equities Black Spoke), Masotto (Team Corratec), Ridolfo (Team Novo Nordisk) and Dissel and Hoppezak (Beat Cycling Club). In no time they worked together to gain a lead of 3 minutes.
As with the other spring classics, the first hour of the race today was very quick. After an hour, there were more than 47 km on the clock. Unlike last year, there were no echelons in Zeeland and so we rode into Belgium with a tightly grouped peloton. It was time for the sprinters’ teams to start nibbling away at the gap with the leaders. At 75km from the line, the early break still had a lead of a minute and a half.
With a peloton gradually reaching cruising speed, the pace also picked up at the front. On the penultimate passage on Broekstraat, Kench, Masotto and Hoppezak dropped out of the leading group. The four remaining at the front, Desal, Dissel, Apers and Ridolfo entered the final round with a lead of just over 20 seconds. It was Alpecin-Deceuninck and Soudal Quick-Step, among others, who set the pace in the chase in the final 15km. Under the 4 km banner, the leading group's story was no more.
The sprint trains formed up on the left and right of the road, but there was no real lead-out for anyone. It was Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) who began to sprint first, with Cavendish alongside him. Top favourite Philipsen came off the wheel of Theuns and sprinted convincingly to victory on the Chuchilllaan. Sam Welsford (Team DSM) was left stranded in the winner’s wake and just like last year had to be content with one of the lesser places on the podium. Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team) sprinted to third place. For Philipsen, this was his second victory in the Scheldeprijs, after his success in 2021.