Cavendish prevails in Scheldeprijs

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) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad4:29:57 
2Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team  
3Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ  
4Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
5Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack  
6Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team  
7Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
8Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
9Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
10Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
11Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
12Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
13Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
14Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
15Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
16Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
17Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
18Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek  
19Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
20Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
21Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard  
22Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
23Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet  
24Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
25Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
26Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShack  
27Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
28Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
29Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad  
30Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
31Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
32Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:12 
33Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:14 
34Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
35Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad0:00:17 
36Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:20 
37Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ  
38Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp  
39Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShack  
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
42Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
43Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
44Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
45David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar  
46Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
47Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
48Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano  
49Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek  
50Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar  
51Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
52Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad  
53Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
54James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ  
56Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet  
57Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
58Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
59Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
60Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
61Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack  
62Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team  
63Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
64Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
65John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:28 
66Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
67Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
68Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
69Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet  
70Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
71Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
72Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp  
73Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
74Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp  
75Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:32 
76Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
77Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
78Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
79Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
80Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ  
81Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
82Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
83Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
84Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
85Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
86Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
87Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
88Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
89Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
90Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
91Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
92Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
93Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:41 
94Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling  
95Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISD0:00:45 
96William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:00:47 
97Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team RadioShack  
98Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
99Alexander Mironov (Rus) Katusha Team  
100Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
101Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:50 
102Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
103Hans Dekkers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
104Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:53 
105Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
106Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:55 
107Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack  
108Nelson Oliveira (Spa) Team RadioShack  
109Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
110Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
111Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ  
112Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
113Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
114Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
115Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
116Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
117Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
118Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:00 
119Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
120Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
121Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
122Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
123Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
124Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
125Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
126Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling  
127Sam Bewley (NZl) Team RadioShack  
128Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
129Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad  
130Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp0:01:16 
131Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad  
132Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
133Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:01:31 
134Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp0:01:54 
135Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
136Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
137Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:56 
138Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:02:01 
139Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
140Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:03 
141Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad0:02:09 
142Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:12 
143Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
144Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:18 
145Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:24 
146Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
147Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:02:25 
148Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard0:02:48 
149Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:03:35 
150Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek  
151Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek  
152Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
153Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp  
154Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team0:03:38 
155Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
156Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:03:41 
157Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek  
158Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek0:04:03 
159Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
160Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:04:06 
161Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:04:07 
162Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad  
163Balint Szeghalmi (Hun) Lampre - ISD0:04:17 
164Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
165Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team Netapp  
166Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:06:11 
167Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:08:11 
168Dieter Cappelle (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:10:05 
169Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp0:10:14 
DNFTyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFGerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard Trek  
DNFWouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek  
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
DNFDanilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD  
DNFAdriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFMarcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
DNFGeorge Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
DNFDominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
DNFCheng Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano  
DNFJean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFArnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFAnthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFJean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFPaolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFRafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFRuggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNSVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
DNSAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  


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