As fans patiently wait for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix -the final instalment of the cobbled classics season, Wednesday’s Scheldeprijs satiates the fans desire for racing and gives the sprinters a chance to steal some glory. Despite its midweek placing, the Belgian race always attracts large crowds, with many of the big Paris-Roubaix contenders using it as an opportunity to stretch the legs ahead of the big day.
Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) will not be present at the 103rd edition, but fellow Hell of the North contenders Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) Lars Boom (Astana), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) will all line-up. However, most of them will just hoping to stay safe on Wednesday, stepping aside for the fast men in their teams.
Mark Cavendish also missing from the start list, preferring to rest up after a long early-season and a nasty stomach virus that hit his form during Tirreno-Adriatico and meant he was not at his best for Milan-San Remo and Gent-Wevelgem.
Without Cavendish, his lead-out man Mark Renshaw will lead Etixx-QuickStep’s hopes at the race while other contenders for the victory are Astana’s Andrea Guardini, Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18).
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