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Cavendish prevails in Scheldeprijs

Cycling News

Briton wins for third time, avoids carnage on finishing straight

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) avoided the carnage of a high-speed crash in the finishing straight to win the Scheldeprijs for a third time in his career.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) tangled with Wouter Weylandt (Leopard Trek) as they fought for a wheel in the final 200 metres of the race. Weylandt was the first to lose control of his bike and knocked Farrar off balance. The American tried to hold his bike up but went down hard, as a Team Sky rider then hit Weylandt and flew over the top of him.

Cavendish was ahead of the crash, having opted to come off his teammates’ wheel and follow Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ). He then accelerated past them to take the best line and won by several bike lengths.

“This is a very important win for me for a number of reasons,” Cavendish said on television after hugging and thanking his teammates.

“First of all because this is a very special race for me. It was my win as a professional and then I won a year later. I missed it in the last two years and I’m so happy to be back. Reason number two is that I love racing in Belgium. I’ve had some bad luck in Gent-Wevelgem and wasn’t great in Flanders but this was a chance to win.”

“The team knew what we had to do and they were incredible all day. They chased the break and then set me up. Leigh Howard was incredible in the finale. He had to go early because we were too far back and then he blew. I was lucky that CJ Sutton went for a long one and I went on the wheel. When they went with 500m to go I knew I’d won it. It was a case of just winning it and so I’m really happy.”

Cavendish had only won a stage at the Tour of Oman before Scheldeprijs, with crashes in the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar disrupting his early season. He was also blocked behind the crash that split the peloton at both Milan-San-Remo and Gent-Wevelgem. He had been under pressure to win but can now look forward to the rest of the season.

“I’ve got a busy season,” he said, confirming he will start all three Grand Tours this season. “I’ve done 35 races already this year. I’m just glad to carry on like this. I’ll take a break after Paris-Roubaix and then build up for the Tour de France via the Giro and the Tour de Suisse.”

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The early action

With Antwerp bathed in pleasant April sunshine, it seemed inevitable that Scheldeprijs would once again turn out to be a sprinters’ battle. On the flat 200km course towards the Dutch border, it usually needs a strong prevailing wind to fragment the peloton into echelons, but with blue skies and still conditions the order of the day, it was always going to take something spectacular to deprive the sprinters of their grandstand finale.

In this context, it was perhaps not surprising that the day’s principal breakaway formed and forged ahead within 10km of the flag being dropped. When the quintet of David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Baptiste Planckaert (Landbouwkrediet), Dieter Capelle (Verandas Willems-Accent), Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) and Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) decided to brave the odds and slip clear early on, they were duly granted a day pass by a peloton content to trundle along in the warm sun.

At the end of the first hour, the break had covered a little over 45km and had five minutes in hand on the peloton, but the gap began to come down gradually thereafter, as HTC-Highroad and Garmin-Cervélo rode tempo at the head of the pack. Nonetheless, the five up front continued to battle on, with Boucher in particular the driving force on the scattering of cobbled sections that punctuated the course.

With 61km to go, a crash in the peloton saw Arnaud Labbe (Cofidis) come a cropper, while Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was also a faller. The Belgian was back on his bike immediately and suffered only superficial injuries. Meanwhile, the breakaway still had 2:30 in hand on a bunch that was now beginning to stir from its slumber.

Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Damien Gaudin (Europcar) launched an ambitious bid to bridge to the leaders with 52km to race, but their brief rally was quickly stifled as Rabobank joined in the chase behind. Up ahead, the stylish Isaichev was putting in some lengthy turns on the front, but his efforts couldn’t stop their lead from dropping ineluctably on the finishing circuit around Schoten, as the bunch closed within a minute under the 40km to go banner.

Under increased impetus from HTC-Highroad and Garmin-Cervélo, that lead dropped to 30 seconds with two laps of the 16km-long finishing circuit to go. Another crash saw Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) was eliminated from contention, while Tom Boonen fell for the second time. Once again the Belgian was quickly back in the peloton, but opted not to contest the sprint, perhaps wisely realising it was not his day.

The break was finally reined in 22km from home, with Malori the last of the survivors to be swallowed up, and from there on in, the sprinters’ teams combined to keep the pace high at the head of the peloton. Thor Hushovd’s rainbow jersey was prominent at the beginning of the final lap but he then slipped to the back of the peloton and eventually sat up to avoid the risk of crashing just three day’s before Paris-Roubaix. Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) also eased up, offering his big rival a friendly hand sling before they both rode in to finish four minutes down on Cavendish.

The speed increased as the kilometres to the finish ticked down and everyone began to focus on the sprint. Omega Pharma-Lotto lined out the peloton and then so di Team Sky and Katusha as everyone fought for the best position.

The narrow streets stretched out the peloton in the last three kilometres but all the sprinters were there lined out and ready to go until the Weylandt lost his balance and touched Farrar from behind. Everyone behind them was forced to dive across the road to avoid the crash, while Cavendish was able to take the best line and win comfortable, holding up three fingers to show his three Scheldeprijs victories.

Full results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 4:29:57  
2 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team    
3 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ    
4 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack    
6 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team    
7 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
8 Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
9 Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
10 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
11 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
12 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
13 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
14 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
15 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
16 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
17 Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
18 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek    
19 Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
20 Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
21 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard    
22 Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISD    
23 Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet    
24 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
25 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
26 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShack    
27 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
28 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
29 Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad    
30 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
31 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
32 Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano 0:00:12  
33 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:14  
34 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
35 Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:17  
36 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano 0:00:20  
37 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ    
38 Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp    
39 Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShack    
40 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
41 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
42 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team    
43 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
44 Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
45 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar    
46 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
47 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
48 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano    
49 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek    
50 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar    
51 Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard    
52 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad    
53 Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
54 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
55 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ    
56 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet    
57 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
58 Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
59 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
60 Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
61 Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack    
62 Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team    
63 Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
64 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
65 John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:28  
66 Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
67 Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
68 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
69 Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet    
70 Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
71 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
72 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp    
73 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
74 Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp    
75 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:32  
76 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
77 Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
78 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
79 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team    
80 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ    
81 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
82 Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
83 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
84 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
85 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
86 Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
87 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
88 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
89 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
90 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
91 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
92 Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
93 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:41  
94 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling    
95 Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISD 0:00:45  
96 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ 0:00:47  
97 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team RadioShack    
98 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team    
99 Alexander Mironov (Rus) Katusha Team    
100 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
101 Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:50  
102 Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
103 Hans Dekkers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
104 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:53  
105 Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
106 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:55  
107 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack    
108 Nelson Oliveira (Spa) Team RadioShack    
109 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team    
110 Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
111 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ    
112 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
113 Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
114 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
115 Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
116 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
117 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
118 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:00  
119 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
120 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ    
121 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
122 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
123 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
124 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
125 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
126 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling    
127 Sam Bewley (NZl) Team RadioShack    
128 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
129 Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad    
130 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp 0:01:16  
131 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad    
132 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
133 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent 0:01:31  
134 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp 0:01:54  
135 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
136 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
137 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:56  
138 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:02:01  
139 Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard    
140 Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano 0:02:03  
141 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad 0:02:09  
142 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano 0:02:12  
143 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
144 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:02:18  
145 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:02:24  
146 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
147 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:02:25  
148 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:02:48  
149 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:03:35  
150 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek    
151 Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek    
152 Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
153 Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp    
154 Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:38  
155 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
156 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:41  
157 Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek    
158 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:04:03  
159 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
160 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:04:06  
161 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:04:07  
162 Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad    
163 Balint Szeghalmi (Hun) Lampre - ISD 0:04:17  
164 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
165 Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team Netapp    
166 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:06:11  
167 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:08:11  
168 Dieter Cappelle (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent 0:10:05  
169 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp 0:10:14  
DNF Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team    
DNF Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team    
DNF David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard Trek    
DNF Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek    
DNF Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
DNF Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
DNF George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
DNF Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ    
DNF Cheng Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano    
DNF Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
DNF Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
DNF Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Rafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNS Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD    
DNS Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale