Cavendish prevails in Scheldeprijs

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) avoided the carnage of a high-speed crash in the finishing straight to win the Scheldeprijs for a third time in his career.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) tangled with Wouter Weylandt (Leopard Trek) as they fought for a wheel in the final 200 metres of the race. Weylandt was the first to lose control of his bike and knocked Farrar off balance. The American tried to hold his bike up but went down hard, as a Team Sky rider then hit Weylandt and flew over the top of him.

Cavendish was ahead of the crash, having opted to come off his teammates’ wheel and follow Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ). He then accelerated past them to take the best line and won by several bike lengths.

“This is a very important win for me for a number of reasons,” Cavendish said on television after hugging and thanking his teammates.

“First of all because this is a very special race for me. It was my win as a professional and then I won a year later. I missed it in the last two years and I’m so happy to be back. Reason number two is that I love racing in Belgium. I’ve had some bad luck in Gent-Wevelgem and wasn’t great in Flanders but this was a chance to win.”

“The team knew what we had to do and they were incredible all day. They chased the break and then set me up. Leigh Howard was incredible in the finale. He had to go early because we were too far back and then he blew. I was lucky that CJ Sutton went for a long one and I went on the wheel. When they went with 500m to go I knew I’d won it. It was a case of just winning it and so I’m really happy.”

Cavendish had only won a stage at the Tour of Oman before Scheldeprijs, with crashes in the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar disrupting his early season. He was also blocked behind the crash that split the peloton at both Milan-San-Remo and Gent-Wevelgem. He had been under pressure to win but can now look forward to the rest of the season.

“I’ve got a busy season,” he said, confirming he will start all three Grand Tours this season. “I’ve done 35 races already this year. I’m just glad to carry on like this. I’ll take a break after Paris-Roubaix and then build up for the Tour de France via the Giro and the Tour de Suisse.”

The early action

With Antwerp bathed in pleasant April sunshine, it seemed inevitable that Scheldeprijs would once again turn out to be a sprinters’ battle. On the flat 200km course towards the Dutch border, it usually needs a strong prevailing wind to fragment the peloton into echelons, but with blue skies and still conditions the order of the day, it was always going to take something spectacular to deprive the sprinters of their grandstand finale.

In this context, it was perhaps not surprising that the day’s principal breakaway formed and forged ahead within 10km of the flag being dropped. When the quintet of David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Baptiste Planckaert (Landbouwkrediet), Dieter Capelle (Verandas Willems-Accent), Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) and Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) decided to brave the odds and slip clear early on, they were duly granted a day pass by a peloton content to trundle along in the warm sun.

At the end of the first hour, the break had covered a little over 45km and had five minutes in hand on the peloton, but the gap began to come down gradually thereafter, as HTC-Highroad and Garmin-Cervélo rode tempo at the head of the pack. Nonetheless, the five up front continued to battle on, with Boucher in particular the driving force on the scattering of cobbled sections that punctuated the course.

With 61km to go, a crash in the peloton saw Arnaud Labbe (Cofidis) come a cropper, while Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was also a faller. The Belgian was back on his bike immediately and suffered only superficial injuries. Meanwhile, the breakaway still had 2:30 in hand on a bunch that was now beginning to stir from its slumber.

Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Damien Gaudin (Europcar) launched an ambitious bid to bridge to the leaders with 52km to race, but their brief rally was quickly stifled as Rabobank joined in the chase behind. Up ahead, the stylish Isaichev was putting in some lengthy turns on the front, but his efforts couldn’t stop their lead from dropping ineluctably on the finishing circuit around Schoten, as the bunch closed within a minute under the 40km to go banner.

Under increased impetus from HTC-Highroad and Garmin-Cervélo, that lead dropped to 30 seconds with two laps of the 16km-long finishing circuit to go. Another crash saw Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) was eliminated from contention, while Tom Boonen fell for the second time. Once again the Belgian was quickly back in the peloton, but opted not to contest the sprint, perhaps wisely realising it was not his day.

The break was finally reined in 22km from home, with Malori the last of the survivors to be swallowed up, and from there on in, the sprinters’ teams combined to keep the pace high at the head of the peloton. Thor Hushovd’s rainbow jersey was prominent at the beginning of the final lap but he then slipped to the back of the peloton and eventually sat up to avoid the risk of crashing just three day’s before Paris-Roubaix. Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) also eased up, offering his big rival a friendly hand sling before they both rode in to finish four minutes down on Cavendish.

The speed increased as the kilometres to the finish ticked down and everyone began to focus on the sprint. Omega Pharma-Lotto lined out the peloton and then so di Team Sky and Katusha as everyone fought for the best position.

The narrow streets stretched out the peloton in the last three kilometres but all the sprinters were there lined out and ready to go until the Weylandt lost his balance and touched Farrar from behind. Everyone behind them was forced to dive across the road to avoid the crash, while Cavendish was able to take the best line and win comfortable, holding up three fingers to show his three Scheldeprijs victories.

Full results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad4:29:57
2Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJRow 2 - Cell 2
4Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 3 - Cell 2
5Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShackRow 4 - Cell 2
6Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 9 - Cell 2
11Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 10 - Cell 2
12Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 12 - Cell 2
14Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 16 - Cell 2
18Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard TrekRow 17 - Cell 2
19Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 19 - Cell 2
21Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank SungardRow 20 - Cell 2
22Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 21 - Cell 2
23Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) LandbouwkredietRow 22 - Cell 2
24Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShackRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 26 - Cell 2
28Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 27 - Cell 2
29Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 28 - Cell 2
30Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 29 - Cell 2
31Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:12
33Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:14
34Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad0:00:17
36Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:20
37Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJRow 36 - Cell 2
38Eric Baumann (Ger) Team NetappRow 37 - Cell 2
39Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShackRow 38 - Cell 2
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 39 - Cell 2
41Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 43 - Cell 2
45David Veilleux (Can) Team EuropcarRow 44 - Cell 2
46Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 45 - Cell 2
47Bobbie Traksel (Ned) LandbouwkredietRow 46 - Cell 2
48Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - ShimanoRow 47 - Cell 2
49Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 48 - Cell 2
50Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 49 - Cell 2
51Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 50 - Cell 2
52Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-HighroadRow 51 - Cell 2
53Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 52 - Cell 2
54James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 53 - Cell 2
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 54 - Cell 2
56Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) LandbouwkredietRow 55 - Cell 2
57Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 57 - Cell 2
59Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 58 - Cell 2
60Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 59 - Cell 2
61Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShackRow 60 - Cell 2
62Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 62 - Cell 2
64Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 63 - Cell 2
65John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:28
66Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 67 - Cell 2
69Matti Helminen (Fin) LandbouwkredietRow 68 - Cell 2
70Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 69 - Cell 2
71Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 70 - Cell 2
72Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetappRow 71 - Cell 2
73Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 72 - Cell 2
74Michaël Baer (Swi) Team NetappRow 73 - Cell 2
75Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:32
76Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJRow 79 - Cell 2
81Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 80 - Cell 2
82Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 83 - Cell 2
85Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 84 - Cell 2
86Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 85 - Cell 2
87Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 86 - Cell 2
88Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 87 - Cell 2
89Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 90 - Cell 2
92Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 91 - Cell 2
93Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:41
94Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky ProcyclingRow 93 - Cell 2
95Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISD0:00:45
96William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:00:47
97Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team RadioShackRow 96 - Cell 2
98Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Alexander Mironov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:50
102Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 101 - Cell 2
103Hans Dekkers (Ned) LandbouwkredietRow 102 - Cell 2
104Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:53
105Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 104 - Cell 2
106Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:55
107Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShackRow 106 - Cell 2
108Nelson Oliveira (Spa) Team RadioShackRow 107 - Cell 2
109Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 109 - Cell 2
111Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJRow 110 - Cell 2
112Koen Barbe (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 111 - Cell 2
113Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 112 - Cell 2
114Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 113 - Cell 2
115Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 114 - Cell 2
116Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Yohann Gene (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 116 - Cell 2
118Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:00
119Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
121Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 120 - Cell 2
122Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 121 - Cell 2
123Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 122 - Cell 2
124Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 123 - Cell 2
125Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 124 - Cell 2
126Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 125 - Cell 2
127Sam Bewley (NZl) Team RadioShackRow 126 - Cell 2
128Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-HighroadRow 128 - Cell 2
130Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp0:01:16
131Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-HighroadRow 130 - Cell 2
132Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 131 - Cell 2
133Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:01:31
134Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp0:01:54
135Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 134 - Cell 2
136Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 135 - Cell 2
137Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:56
138Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:02:01
139Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 138 - Cell 2
140Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:03
141Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad0:02:09
142Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:12
143Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 142 - Cell 2
144Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:18
145Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:24
146Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 145 - Cell 2
147Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:02:25
148Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard0:02:48
149Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:03:35
150Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 149 - Cell 2
151Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard TrekRow 150 - Cell 2
152Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 151 - Cell 2
153Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetappRow 152 - Cell 2
154Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team0:03:38
155Kevin Peeters (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 154 - Cell 2
156Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:03:41
157Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard TrekRow 156 - Cell 2
158Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek0:04:03
159Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 158 - Cell 2
160Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:04:06
161Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:04:07
162Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-HighroadRow 161 - Cell 2
163Balint Szeghalmi (Hun) Lampre - ISD0:04:17
164Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
165Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team NetappRow 164 - Cell 2
166Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:06:11
167Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:08:11
168Dieter Cappelle (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:10:05
169Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp0:10:14
DNFTyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFGerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFWouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard TrekRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFDanilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFAdriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFMarcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFGeorge Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFDominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFCheng Ji (Chn) Skil - ShimanoRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFJean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 186 - Cell 2
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 187 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 188 - Cell 2
DNFJean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 189 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 190 - Cell 2
DNFRafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & SaponeRow 191 - Cell 2
DNFRuggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 192 - Cell 2
DNSVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 193 - Cell 2
DNSAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 194 - Cell 2


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