photo credits @ Scheldeprijs
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) claimed victory in today’s Scheldeprijs, beating the Deceuninck-QuickStep duo of Sam Bennett and Mark Cavendish to seize the honors in Schoten.
Alpecin-Fenix was seven-riders strong amongst a group of about 30, as the peloton split during the final 3 laps of the finishing circuit around Schoten.
Heading into the final kilometer, the Belgian squad still had four-rider lead-out train, with Dries De Bondt and Jonas Rickaert propelling Philipsen to the front and onto victory during the closing 300 meters.
The wind played a critical role in today’s semi-classic, with several factions attempting to escape to no avail.
However, after 50 kilometers for racing, a breakaway group of 13 riders containing Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Pascal Ackermann, Nils Politt, Michael Schwarzmann, Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Sam Bennett, Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Norman Vahtra (Israel Start-Up Nation), Giacomo Nizzolo, Max Walscheid (Qhubeka Assos), Jasper Philipsen, Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix) and Clément Russo (Arkéa-Samsic) managed to escape the clutches of the peloton.
Behind, the chase consisted of a 15-rider contingent with the likes of Stan Dewulf, Marc Sarreau, (AG2R-Citroën), Rüdiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe), Cavendish, Florian Sénéchal, Bert Van Lerberghe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jonas Koch (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Cees Bol (Team DSM), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko), Dries Van Gestel (Total Direct Energie), Jan-Willem Van Schip, Luuc Bugter, Piotr Havik (BEAT Cycling.)
By end the of the first finishing lap, the leader’s advantage had been reduced to 2:05, and to 1:35 by the penultimate lap.
Up front Sénéchal and Burghardt traded turns heading into the final 3 kilometers, with Sénéchal later dropping back, as the rest of his QuickStep team organized behind him. But, Burghardt stayed on the front until the final 2 kilometers.
A Beat rider then decided to attack, only to be closed down by Van Lerberghe. Another attack followed, this time by Van Moer with under 2 kilometers to go. Van Lerberghe once again was successful in shutting down the attack, while Mørkøv sat in front of Bennett and Cavendish closely marked his wheel.
From there, AG2R opened up its lead-out, but QuickStep soon moved to the front, with Van Lerberghe peeling off to leave Mørkøv to take it up from range.
But, Alpecin-Fenix produced a stunning surge, derailing the QuickStep train and putting Philipsen into perfect position to secure the win.
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