Marcel Kittel proved victorious in this year’s Scheldeprijs, as the German powerhouse succeeded in vanquishing a field of top riders to claim a sprint finish victory in Schoten today.
How the race Happened
Today’s 102nd edition of the Scheldeprijs saw a three-man breakaway group that was being lead by Daniel Summerhill attempt to ride clear early on. However, the trio was quickly reeled in by the peloton. From there, Summerhill’s teammate Alessandro Bazzana, likewise initiated an attack of his own, that was soon joined by Luke Rowe, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Jan Ghyselinck, Andrea Fedi and Ivan Balykin, And, together the six escapees succeeded in building up an advantage of more than five minutes over the field.
Meanwhile back in the peloton, Belkin and AG2R assumed control of the chase for the first hour of racing – subsequently reducing the gap to a more manageable lead.
As the race entered the first feed zone at mid-point in the race, several race favorites such as Bernhard Eisel, Thor Hushovd, Nick Nuyens, Peter Sagan and Stijn Vandenbergh fell behind the peloton.
Shortly thereafter, the peloton succeeded in further reducing the escapee’s gap down to just one minute. However, as the field came back together at a closed railway crossing, race officials subsequently gave the breakaway group back their lead, along with an additional time bonus. In the meantime, Sagan et al were able to rejoin the peloton.
After departing the railway crossing, FDJ.fr, Giant-Shimano and Belkin took control of the pace setting in the peloton. Meanwhile, the breakaway group managed to extend their lead back out to three minutes.
During the next 50 kilometers, the escapee’s lead fluctuated between three minutes and a minute and a half.
With 11 kilometers remaining, and a looming peloton that was now just a minute back, Rowe attempted to jettison his breakaway companions. However, the British rider was quickly drawn back in. From there, Fedi tried his chances as well. But, with 2.4 kilometer remaining, both he and the rest of the breakaway group were absorbed by the peloton. From there, the peloton began ushering their sprinters to the front for what came down to a battle en masse for the finish.
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