Improvements to road due for 2012 after two crash-marred editions
Following this year's dramatic crash in the finale of the Scheldeprijs, the organisers of the race have teamed up with the city council in Schoten, Belgium to make the approach to the line on Churchilllaan safer.
According to nieuwsblad.be, the race organisation consulted with teams and riders to find out what caused the massive crashes in this year's edition and in 2009, and it concluded that a bend with 250m to go, some uneven pavement and traffic islands were the main dangers in the stretch of road ahead of the finish line.
This year, Wouter Weylandt and Tyler Farrar collided after Weylandt lost control on the uneven surface, with both riders hitting the deck ahead of the fast-charging peloton. The crash also took out Sjef De Wilde (Veranda's Willems), who fractured two vertebrae after going through the crowd barriers.
In 2009 it was Tom Boonen, Robbie McEwen and Greg Van Avermaet who went down in the bend 250m ahead of the line.
With the 100th edition looming, and a competing bid from Antwerp to host the finish, Schoten agreed to changes to the street which removes some of the traffic island and adds a new layer of asphalt to even out the surface.
The town also gets a new bicycle lane in the stretch of Churchillaan, which is due to be opened on September 1.
The 100th Scheldeprijs will start in Antwerp and finish in Schoten on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
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