The 109th Scheldeprijs was right up Jasper Philipsen's street. He survived the waves in Zeeland and sprinted faster than Bennett and Cavendish on Churchilllaan in Schoten.
After skipping a year for well-known reasons, this year the peloton could once again start just over the border in Terneuzen. The harsh weather conditions made the organisation decide to cancel the start presentation. There was no need to change the course and so the peloton started as planned at 12.45 pm. Then the open plains of Zeeland awaited, where the wind had free rein.
It soon became clear that the weather gods would indeed help determine the race. During the first hour of the race, the peloton whizzed over the dykes of Zeeland at a speed of 50 km per hour. Not long after the starting sign was given, the peloton broke into three groups. The differences remained small and so a regrouping was inevitable.
The wind remained an important factor, because not much later the peloton broke into 5 groups again. The leading group consisted of 13 riders, including Ackermann, Schwarzmann, Politt and Burghardt (Bora-hansgrohe), Bennett and Mørkøv (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux), Nizzolo and Walscheid (Team Qhubeka - Assos), Philipsen and Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Vahtra (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Russo (Team Arkéa-Samsic).
The chasing group included Sénéchal and Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Bol (Team DSM), Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Merlier and De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix). Kristoff and Merlier literally fell away in the chase without much of a problem. The difference between group 1 and 2 remained at around 20 seconds for a long time. At just over 60km from the line, a regrouping at the front was due. The peloton followed at more than 2 minutes.
The bunch did not come back. The group of 30 men in front would sprint for the victory. Van Schip and Van Moer, among others, tried in the last two kilometres but were unable to avoid a sprint. In the last straight line Alpecin-Fenix took over from Deceuninck - Quick-Step. De Bondt and Rickaert launched Philipsen who in turn managed to hold off Bennett and Cavendish.
Philipsen is the first Belgian since Tom Boonen in 2006 to win the Scheldeprijs.