Kittel wins the prize in Scheldeprijs

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) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano4:30:52 
2Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda  
3Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
4Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
5Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
6Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
7Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
8Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
9Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan  
10Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
11Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
12André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team  
13Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
14Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
15Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
16Victor Manakov (Rus) RusVelo  
17Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team  
18Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team  
19Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
20Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
21Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp  
22Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
23Jacob Keough (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
24Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
25Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
26Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:04 
27Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
28Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp  
29Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano  
30Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
31Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan  
32Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
33Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano0:00:18 
34Martin Gilbert (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
35Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
36Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda  
37Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
38Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
39Rob Goris (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
40Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
41Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetApp0:00:38 
42Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale  
43Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
44Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team  
45Roger Kluge (Ger) Argos-Shimano  
46Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:42 
47Ryan Anderson (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
48James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
49Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
50Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
51Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp0:00:49 
52Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp  
53Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
54Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:53 
55Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:01:04 
56Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
57Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
58Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:09 
59Cristiano Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
60Kevin Lacombe (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
61Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
62Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:01:32 
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda  
64Borut Bozic (Slo) Pro Team Astana0:01:47 
65Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:02:03 
66Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana0:02:35 
67Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
68Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
69Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
70Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
71Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
72Aaron Kemps (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
73Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
74Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
75Etienne Tortelier (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
76Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
77Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
78Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
79Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:02:46 
80Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
81Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
82Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
83Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
84Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
85Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
86Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
87Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:53 
88Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
89Nikita Eskov (Rus) RusVelo0:03:05 
90Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:03:07 
91Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:22 
92Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:03:30 
93Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:03:39 
94William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
95Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:03:57 
96David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
97Joeri Bueken (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
98Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
99Jay Thomson (RSA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
100Alexander Mironov (Rus) RusVelo  
101Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
102Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
103Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
104Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan  
105Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
106Roberto De Patre (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia0:04:04 
107Bradley White (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:04:06 
108Philip Deignan (Irl) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
109Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Argos-Shimano  
110Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano  
111Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
112Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
113Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
114Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
115Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
116Simon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
117Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
118Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
119Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
120Kun Jiang (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
121Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
122Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) RusVelo  
123Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
124Matvey Zubov (Rus) RusVelo  
125Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan  
126Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
127Artem Ovechkin (Rus) RusVelo  
128Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
129Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
130Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
131Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
132Kevin Claeys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
133Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
134Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
135Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
136Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank  
137Serguei Klimov (Rus) RusVelo  
138Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
139Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling  
140Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp  
141Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
142Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
143Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team  
144Said Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
145Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan  
146Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
147Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
148Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan  
149Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
150Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:04:31 
151Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp0:06:07 
152Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:06:10 
153Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank0:06:24 
154Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar0:06:52 
155Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:08:36 
156Kin San Wu (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:08:45 
157Will Routley (Can) Spidertech p/b C100:09:25 
158Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:09:31 
159Anuar Manan (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:09:47 

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