Sandwiched in between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, Scheldeprijs is an opportunity for the sprinters to strut their stuff before the action returns to the more testing cobbles of the Classics.
The race is certainly not as glamorous or exciting as Flanders or Roubaix but its status is steeped in history that runs back to 1907. With an illustrious winners list that includes Alberic Schotte, Rik Van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck, Eddy Merckx and Mark Cavendish, it is a race any sprinter values on the palmares.
While Sunday’s Flanders was raced under bright skies, today’s start in Antwerp had a decidedly chilly feel to it. Ahead of the riders was 202 kilometres of relatively flat terrain and with Mark Cavendish absent, due to the birth of his first child, the race is wide open.
2010 winner Tyler Farrar and Tom Boonen (2004, 2006) are the only previous winners on the start list but with Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) and Andre Greipel (Lotto) present, it promises to be a thrilling finale.
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