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Kittel wins the prize in Scheldeprijs

Cycling News

Rain makes for risky racing

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) claimed the victory in a rainy 100th edition of the Scheldeprijs in Schoten, Belgium. The German power house won the bunch sprint ahead of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) and Theo Bos (Rabobank).

Kittel follows in the footsteps of Mark Cavendish (Sky), who became a father one day before the Belgian race and was not present at the start line.

It was the first victory for Kittel's new team sponsor, Argos, which was announced four days earlier, and a confirmation of the sprinting prowess of the 23-year-old in a race which is often referred to as the unofficial world championships for sprinters..

"I'm really happy to have won the centenarian edition of this race. This is a race every sprinter dreams about so I'm really happy to be on the list of winners," Kittel told Sporza right after the race.

Kittel was delighted with his win but regretted the missed opportunity to duel with Cavendish.

"I look forward to racing him [Cavendish]. When I heard he was not here I was a little disappointed but I think he has a very good reason to stay at home," Kittel said.

Tyler Farrar won the Scheldeprijs in 2010 but this time around he had to settle for second place. The American rider was pleased with his sprint but acknowledged that Kittel was simply faster. "I rode a good sprint but that was not good enough today; Kittel was simply better. Too bad because I was perfectly delivered in the sprint by my teammates," Farrar said.

Third-place Theo Bos was also well delivered in the sprint but the multiple track sprint world champion fell short in the end. "Mark Renshaw did the perfect job but I was on the 11 and in this cold weather that was a tough gear to deal with," Bos said.

A cold rain that fell in the final hour of the race caused a number of crashes, the last of which happened across the finish line. "The weather made it really difficult. The rain started about five kilometer before the finish. You needed to stay in front to stay out of trouble and avoid the crashes," Kittel said.

The peloton set forth from Schoten under overcast skies, and true to the formula, the day's breakaway went early when, after 17km, five riders were given the go-ahead to get maximum exposure for their sponsors.

Breakaway specialists David Boucher (FDJ-Big Mat), Kevin Hulsmans (Farnese Vini – Selle Italia) were accompanied by Kevin Claeys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Kevin Van Melsen (Accent Jobs-Willems Verandas) and Simon Lambert-Lemay (Spidertech/C10). Two riders set-up the counter-attack but Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Kin San Wu (Champion Pro System) needed 20 km before they eventually bridged up with the five men in front.

By that time their lead over the peloton was up to more than nine minutes before the end of the first hour. As a result the pace in the peloton increased during the second hour due to the efforts of teams like Garmin-Barracuda and Omega Pharma - Quickstep. Rather quickly the gap was reduced to less than five minutes. The breakaway group was helped by a railway crossing at 100km from the finish line in Schoten as they were able to pass while the peloton was halted for about a minute.

As the first drops began to fall from the skies and the peloton finished its large loop, Tom Boonen came to the front of the race and took a long pull, his furious pace and a number of crashes behind him causing splits in the peloton, but with three small circuits still to race, it was clear that Boonen was simply testing his legs for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix and staying safe on the slippery roads.

With 25 km to go at the cobbles of the Broekstraat Hulsmans attacked his breakaway group once the gap on the first peloton dropped below the minute, taking only Boucher, Claeys and Vandousselaere along. Going into the final lap the peloton was back together while the four remaining leaders were only a handful of seconds ahead.

As the peloton closed in, Hulsmans tried to go it alone, but with 10km to go he too was swept up by the Garmin-Barracuda-led peloton. A mid-pack crash caused another split in the bunch with 4km remaining, as Team Sky came to the fore.

The slick roads took out a few more riders in the final kilometers as Rabobank put in the final push to the line for Theo Bos, but it was Farrar who would open up the sprint only to be overtaken by the big German. Kittel delivered the first victory for his newly minted Argos-Shimano team.

"In the last kilometer I was on the wheel of Rabobank and then Tyler Farrar passed me on the right. At 300 or 250 meters to go he went out to the right side. I just followed him and also went directly into the wind and started my sprint. Theo Bos, Tyler Farrar and me were sprinting to the finish line," Kittel said.

His victory was slightly overshadowed by a horrible crash across the finish line when one of the press photographers was struck by one of several crashing riders, and emergency medics were called to the scene as the podium presentation got underway. Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo Bank) was injured in the incident.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano 4:30:52  
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda    
3 Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
4 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
5 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
6 Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
7 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team    
8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
9 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan    
10 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
11 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
12 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team    
13 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
14 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
15 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
16 Victor Manakov (Rus) RusVelo    
17 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team    
18 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team    
19 Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
20 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
21 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp    
22 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team    
23 Jacob Keough (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team    
24 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team    
25 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
26 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:04  
27 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
28 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp    
29 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano    
30 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
31 Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan    
32 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
33 Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano 0:00:18  
34 Martin Gilbert (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
35 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
36 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda    
37 Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:00:22  
38 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
39 Rob Goris (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
40 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
41 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetApp 0:00:38  
42 Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale    
43 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
44 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team    
45 Roger Kluge (Ger) Argos-Shimano    
46 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Radioshack-Nissan 0:00:42  
47 Ryan Anderson (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
48 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
49 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
50 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
51 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp 0:00:49  
52 Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp    
53 Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
54 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:53  
55 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:01:04  
56 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
57 Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
58 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:01:09  
59 Cristiano Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
60 Kevin Lacombe (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
61 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
62 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 0:01:32  
63 Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda    
64 Borut Bozic (Slo) Pro Team Astana 0:01:47  
65 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:02:03  
66 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana 0:02:35  
67 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
68 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
69 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
70 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
71 Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
72 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
73 Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
74 Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
75 Etienne Tortelier (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
76 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
77 Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
78 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
79 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:02:46  
80 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
81 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
82 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
83 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
84 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
85 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
86 Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
87 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:53  
88 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
89 Nikita Eskov (Rus) RusVelo 0:03:05  
90 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:03:07  
91 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:03:22  
92 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:03:30  
93 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:39  
94 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
95 Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:03:57  
96 David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
97 Joeri Bueken (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
98 Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
99 Jay Thomson (RSA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team    
100 Alexander Mironov (Rus) RusVelo    
101 Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
102 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
103 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
104 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan    
105 Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
106 Roberto De Patre (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia 0:04:04  
107 Bradley White (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:04:06  
108 Philip Deignan (Irl) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team    
109 Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Argos-Shimano    
110 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano    
111 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
112 Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
113 Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
114 Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
115 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
116 Simon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
117 Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
118 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
119 Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10    
120 Kun Jiang (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
121 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
122 Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) RusVelo    
123 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
124 Matvey Zubov (Rus) RusVelo    
125 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan    
126 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
127 Artem Ovechkin (Rus) RusVelo    
128 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
129 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
130 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
131 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
132 Kevin Claeys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
133 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
134 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
135 Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
136 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank    
137 Serguei Klimov (Rus) RusVelo    
138 Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
139 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling    
140 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp    
141 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
142 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
143 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team    
144 Said Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
145 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan    
146 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
147 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
148 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan    
149 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
150 Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's 0:04:31  
151 Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp 0:06:07  
152 Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:06:10  
153 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 0:06:24  
154 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:52  
155 Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:08:36  
156 Kin San Wu (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:08:45  
157 Will Routley (Can) Spidertech p/b C10 0:09:25  
158 Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:09:31  
159 Anuar Manan (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:09:47