Kittel wins the 2014 Scheldeprijs

Giant-Shimano sprinter takes third consecutive victory in Schoten

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) made the rest of the sprinters look as if they were glued to the tarmac, hitting out early in the bunch kick to win the Scheldeprijs over Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing).

Omega Pharma-Quickstep did the lion's share of the lead-out, working for Italian Alessandro Petacchi, but it was Kittel who profited, using the tailwind to power away from Petacchi, who faded back to fourth.

It is Kittel's third straight victory in the Belgian classic.

“It really means a lot for me to win here for the third time, especially after a superb job by my teammates," Kittel said.

“I knew that I could go early at the end as we had a tailwind. My plan was to jump 280m from the line and after perfect preparation for the sprint this was made possible. We showed today that we are one of the top teams – we stayed calm and finished the job perfectly. I’m really happy.”

For Tyler Farrar, the 2010 winner of the race and runner-up from 2012, second place was the best possible outcome when up against Kittel, but is yet another sign he is regaining the kind of speed that he was missing in 2013.

"There's no place to begin with Kittel," Farrar told Sporza. "His sprint is on another level. I always want to win, but I'm also happy with second place. We know how strong Giant-Shimano is. They have the best train this season.

"The team did everything possible to put me on Kittel's wheel. I'm proud of them, but I could do nothing against Kittel. But this was a good spring for me, with even a second in Dwars door Vlaanderen."

Danny Van Poppel (Trek) also showed his speed is on the rise, sneaking past Petacchi to get third. The result follows his victory on stage 1 of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen earlier this year, and chalks his name up with the best of the peloton's bunch sprinters.

"I came close to Farrar, but with Kittel, as is so often the case, I could not begin to overcome Kittel, and knew then that I would not sprint for the win. But I am very happy with a third place in such a big race. This is a very successful outcome. "

How it unfolded

Three days after a tumultuous Ronde van Vlaanderen the Scheldeprijs offered a chance for the big guns to spin out their legs from the cobbles, while the sprinters received a chance to add a Classic on their palmarès.

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the two previous editions and started a big favourite since Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) could not start due to illness and injury, respectively.

The 102nd edition of the Scheldeprijs departed from the MAS-museum of Antwerp in pleasant, sunny conditions, but a cold wind from the west reminded the riders approaching the sign-on podium that they were not there to catch some sun.

Soon after the start three riders tried their luck. The group included Daniel Summerhill (United Healthcare) but the peloton didn't let them go. A bit later Summerhill’s teammate Alessandro Bazzana had more luck. He was joined by Luke Rowe (Sky), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana), Jan Ghyselinck (Wanty – Groupe Robert), Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli) and Ivan Balykin (Rusvelo). Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar) tried to bridge across but fell short as the six worked well together and created a lead of more than five minutes.

The Belkin and AG2R team did most of the work in the peloton and brought the gap back down after the first hour of racing. While approaching the first feed zone halfway through the race the speed in the peloton was high. Several riders landed in a group behind the peloton, featuring many names who focused on Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix like Bernhard Eisel (Sky), Thor Hushovd (BMC), Nick Nuyens (Garmin-Sharp), Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Stijn Vandenbergh (omega Pharma – Quick-Step). By that time the gap on the six leaders was down to just over a minute but a closed railway crossing turned things around. The peloton arrived as the crossing opened again but the race jury offered the six attackers back their original lead and – according to Sporza - an additional bonus. Meanwhile the riders in the dropped group managed to take back their position in the peloton.

After the railway crossing, Giant-Shimano and Belkin led the peloton at a more steady pace and the breakaway group gained back a lead of three minutes. In the following fifty kilometres the gap went up and down between three minutes and 1:30 when hitting the cobbles of the Broekstraat a first time, just before hitting the local circuit of 16.4 kilometres. After the first loop the gap was down to 2:22. The team and Omega Pharma-Quickstep did most of the work in the peloton and one loop later there were only 1:35 left between the leaders and the peloton.

At 11km from the finish Rowe accelerated in the lead group while Boonen pulled hard in the peloton, bringing the gap down to one minute.

Rowe was brought back by the breakaway, as Fedi tried his chances, but by 2.4km to go all of the leaders were absorbed, setting up the big bunch sprint.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano4:33:53 
2Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp  
3Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
4Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
5Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp - Endura  
6Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
7Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
8Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
9Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar  
10Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling  
11Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Androni Giocattoli  
12Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
13Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
14Leonid Krasnov (Rus) RusVelo  
15Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha  
16Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
17Frederique Robert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
18Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
19Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
20Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
21Arnaud Demare (Fra)  
22Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
23Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka  
24Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
25Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
26Alexander Serov (Rus) RusVelo  
27Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC Racing Team  
28Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
29Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
30Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
31John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
32Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp  
33Ken Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
34Artur Ershov (Rus) RusVelo  
35Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
36Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
37Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling  
38Kevyn Ista (Bel) IAM Cycling  
39Barry Markus (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
40Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing  
42Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale  
43Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
44Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha0:00:09 
45Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:11 
46Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling0:00:15 
47Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
48Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano  
49Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Garmin Sharp  
50Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale  
51Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
52Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
53Daniele Colli (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
54Roberto De Patre (Ita) Yellow Fluo0:00:21 
55Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
56Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
57Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura0:00:25 
58Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
59Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale0:00:27 
60Giorgio Cecchinel (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
61Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
62Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Europcar  
63Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
64Martijn Maaskant (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
65Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
66Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli  
67Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale  
68Mickael Delage (Fra)  
69Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
70Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale  
71William Bonnet (Fra)  
72Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
73Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha  
74Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
75Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol  
76Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
77Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky  
78Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
79Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
80Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale  
81Ralf Matzka (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura  
82Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
83Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
84Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
85Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
86Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
87Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling  
88Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
89Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
90Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing  
91Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha  
92Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale  
93Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing  
94Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
95Luigi Miletta (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
96Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp - Endura  
97Nicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
98Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
99Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling  
100Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Belisol  
101Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp - Endura  
102Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
103Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:37 
104Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol0:00:40 
105Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura  
106Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:55 
107Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:59 
108Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
109Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky  
110Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
111Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
112Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:01:15 
113Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:01:27 
114Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
115Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
116Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha  
117Andrea Fedi (Ita) Yellow Fluo0:01:38 
118Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
119Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp0:01:42 
120David Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp  
121Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing  
122Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team NetApp - Endura0:01:58 
123Ivan Balykin (Ita) RusVelo0:02:01 
124Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:02:14 
125Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
126Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:28 
127Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:27 
128Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
129David Boucher (Fra) FDJ.fr0:04:32 
130Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
131Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
132Martin Wesemann (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
133Yoann Offredo (Fra)  
134Samuele Conti (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
135Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)  
136Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
137Gennady Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo  
138Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
139Sergey Klimov (Rus) RusVelo  
140Gennady Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo  
141Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky  
142Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
143Edward King (USA) Cannondale0:04:45 
144Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
145Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
146Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
147Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo  
148Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
149Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team  
150Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
151Ji Cheng (Chn) Team Giant-Shimano  
152Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
153Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin Sharp0:04:49 
154Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
155Mattia Pozzo (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
156Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
157Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky  
158Ferekalsi Debesay Abrha (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
159Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
160Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
161Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
162Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
163Andrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
164Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Team Europcar  
165Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)  
166Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha  
167Yohann Gène (Fra) Team Europcar  
168Björn Thurau (Ger) Team Katusha  
169Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
170Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar  
171Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
172Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha  
173Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNSJohann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFDmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDennis van Winden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFKlaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFLaurent Mangel (Fra)  
DNFGrégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFOmar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFLouis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFBradley Potgieter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
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