Scheldeprijs sits in between the two biggest cobbled Classics on the calendar: the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Flanders is notoriously difficult and one of the hardest one-day races of the year, whereas Paris-Roubaix takes the mantle as the most challenging parcours by some distance.
Sandwiched between the two Monuments is Scheldeprijs, which traditionally attracts the top sprinters of the sport, combined with the Classics specialists who are looking for one final race test ahead of the 'Hell of the North' four days later.
This combination leads to a range of bike tech, from 28mm - or more - cobble-specific tyres, double-wrapped handlebar tape and endurance framesets, through to all-out aero machines with 54-tooth chainrings, aero cockpits and softer, 25mm tyres.
Several teams in divisions below the WorldTour have experimented with - and in some cases fully committed to - tubeless tyres for racing as the technology improves and becomes more reliable. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) was one of the first big stars to use the technology at as important a race as the Tour of Flanders and, three days later, an array of star riders have adopted tubeless tyres in what could be a turning point after decades on tubular tyres.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Matti Breschel (EF Education First), the Riwal Readynez team and the Wallonie Bruxelles team all raced Scheldeprijs with tubeless set-ups and Cyclingnews understands that it's only a matter of time before more teams adopt the technology.
Team Sky and EF Education First were textbook examples of the Scheldeprijs hybrid of bike set-ups. Sep Vanmarcke rode the endurance-focused Cannondale Synapse with double-wrapped handlebar tape and two pairs of satellite sprint shifter Di2 buttons on the handlebar tops and drops for ease of shifting when on the cobbles. Team Sky's Paris-Roubaix contingent from their Scheldeprijs line-up raced on Pinarello Dogma K10 with more satellite sprint buttons, while their sprint specialists stuck to the more commonly used Pinarello Dogma F10.
Click through the gallery above for a closer look at the tech on display at the 107th edition of Scheldeprijs.
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