2017-04-05 105th Scheldeprijs
The 105th Scheldeprijs will go into the history books as Tom’s Boonen last race on Belgium soil. As a tribute to his impressive career, his hometown of Mol was for this special occasion chosen to be the start place of the Scheldeprijs.
Major Paul Rotthier of Mol was the proud host for the many fans that showed up to pay tribute to Tom Boonen. The 166 participants (without Mark Cavendish who had to give forfeit with an injury) left the Rondplein and soon after the start a group of seven riders broke away from the peloton: Christophe Prémont, Julien Stassen, Marco Mathis, Frederik Veuchelen, Stijn Steels, Pim Lighthart, Eugert Zhupa. The peloton kept control of the race and never allowed the seven more than a five-minute lead.
Lightart en the Albanian champion Zhupa, the last two survivors of the leading group, were caught in the streets of Schoten and the peloton prepared itself for the three local laps to the finish. In the preparation for the sprint, about 4 km before the finish, Dylan Groenewegen and Greipel, two of the favorites, unfortunately crashed. Piloted by his teammates, including Tom Boonen, Mark Kittel had no real contenders in the sprint. It was Olympic champion Elia Viviani who came in second at a honorable distance and Frenchmen Nace Bouhanni took the third place on the podium. This was already the German’s fifth win in the Scheldeprijs, adding to the tally of Quick Step.
2016-04-06 104th Scheldeprijs
It’s cold and windy for the 162 riders at the start of the 104e Scheldeprijs at the MAS in Antwerpen To enhance the safety of the riders the organization reduced the number of teams to 22 ( before 25) and added some curves in the last kilometers ahead of the finish at the Churchillaan.
After 15 km six riders break away from the peloton: Lieuwe Westra, Beren De Vries, Steve Tronet (France champion ), Sander Helven, Nico Denz and Tomasz Kiendys. The peloton does not react. Jérôme Baugnies counterattacks, but without success.
The peloton controls the race and never allows the lead of the six in the front to become more than 5 or 6 minutes. Before reaching Schoten the peloton catches up with the riders in-front and a complete peloton starts on the final three local laps. One-by-one Frederik Backaert, Brian van Goethem, Preben Van Hecke (Belgium champion), Sébastien Turgot, Enrique Sanz, Maxime Cam and Nikolay Mihaylov attack, but it becomes clear that a group sprint will be inevitable.
Marcel Kittel is the fastest ahead of Mark Cavendish and André Greipel. Edward Theuns, second last year, ends in fourth place and becomes the first Belgium rider. Marcel Kittel now is the sole record keeper of the Scheldeprijs with a total of four victories.
Noteworthy is the fact that not one crash was recorded during the race.
2014-04-09 102nd Scheldeprijs
Spring mild temperatures welcome 198 riders at the start of the 102nd old Antwerp Classic at the MAS. Many spectators, a nice ambiance: what is necessary to create a festive atmosphere! 92 years old René Mertens, a former winner and an honour guest, is also present at the start. He in fact would never miss the Scheldeprijs. He is on the sidewalk waiting for the start when he is the victim of a heart attack. He does not survive. « The best place for René to say goodbye », tell his friends. A minute of silence is observed in memory of the winner of the 1947 edition. The race unfolds smoothly and is also very fast. Six riders go very early in the break and almost go to the finish (from km 5 to km 197!): Luke Rowe, Jan Ghyselinck, Ivan Balykin, Andrea Fedi, Alessandro Bazzana and Dimitriy Gruzdev. But the race finishes anyway with the traditional and unavoidable massive sprint. Without Cavendish (ill after Milan-Sanremo) at the start, Marcel Kittel has all the advantages on his side. The German wins very easily for the third time in a row. Thanks to that victory he tied Peet Oellibrandt and Mark Cavendish’s record.
2013-04-03 101st Scheldeprijs
It is actually freezing when the 193 participants in the 101st Scheldeprijs take the start of the race in front of the MAS in Antwerp. Previously three-time winner and till then unbeaten Mark Cavendish admired the beautiful diamond awarded to the winner of that Scheldeprijs later in the afternoon in Schoten. Nine riders go very soon in the break (Rast, Brammeier, Ojavee, Venter, Vanbilsen, Borchi, Kamyshev, Jensen and Barbé) but the gap with the bunch is never really big. After 50 km racing, the bunch breaks into several packs but after Cancellara and Eisel crashed, fortunately without much damage, the race becomes quieter. Later Sven Vandousselaere, Matthew Brammeier and Stefano Borchi also attack. They take up to 3 minutes ahead but they are caught up in Schoten. Massive sprint in inevitable and Marcel Kittel is the fastest. A disappointed Mark Cavendish takes two. He looks for comfort from Peta Todd (his future wife) and that same day one year old daughter Delilah Grace.
2012-04-04 100th Scheldeprijs
For the very first time, the start of the event is given at the well-known MAS in Antwerp. Many people are present to applaud the 189 riders who take the start of this festive 100th edition of the race. When the riders begin the last of the local laps, Kevin Hulsmans is the only rider left in the lead. He made part of a traditional long breakaway that started rather early. After the weather was nice and sunny during the entire day it suddenly starts raining hard and it is really difficult for the riders to avoid crashing. And several crashes occurred actually. Young German rider Marcel Kittel wins the sprint ahead of former winner Tyler Farrar and Theo Bos. The first Belgian rider is Tom Van Asbroeck who finishes the 13th.