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Kristoff wins yet again in Scheldeprijs

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The race was stopped for a train crossing

The race was stopped for a train crossing
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Shane Archbold (Bora-Argon 18) helped up after a crash

Shane Archbold (Bora-Argon 18) helped up after a crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Garmin) was also caught up in the crash

Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Garmin) was also caught up in the crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A crash involving a race moto at the Scheldeprijs

A crash involving a race moto at the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) raced in the Scheldeprijs

Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) raced in the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2015 Scheldeprijs

The 2015 Scheldeprijs
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Bradley Wiggins in his penultimate appearance with Team Sky

Bradley Wiggins in his penultimate appearance with Team Sky
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There were only 14 riders sprinting for the win in Scheldeprijs

There were only 14 riders sprinting for the win in Scheldeprijs
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The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich

The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich
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The Scheldeprijs doesn't actually go near the Schelde, but it does parallel many canals

The Scheldeprijs doesn't actually go near the Schelde, but it does parallel many canals
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The breakaway on the cobbles

The breakaway on the cobbles
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The Scheldeprijs passes through some tranquil Belgian neighborhoods

The Scheldeprijs passes through some tranquil Belgian neighborhoods
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The only appearance Marcel Kittel made in the 2015 Scheldeprijs

The only appearance Marcel Kittel made in the 2015 Scheldeprijs
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The 2015 Scheldeprijs

The 2015 Scheldeprijs
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Etixx-Quickstep hunts the breakaway

Etixx-Quickstep hunts the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-Quickstep at the head of the field

Etixx-Quickstep at the head of the field
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Laurens De Vreese (Astana) attacks the breakaway

Laurens De Vreese (Astana) attacks the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Laurens De Vreese (Astana) attacks the breakaway

Laurens De Vreese (Astana) attacks the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Renshaw (Etixx-Quick Step)

Mark Renshaw (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Scheldeprijs sprint

The Scheldeprijs sprint
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich

The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich

The Scheldeprijs podium: Edward Theuns, Alexander Kristoff and Yauheni Hutarovich
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) celebrates winning Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) wins the Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Scheldeprijs followed the recent form guide of the spring Classics, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) winning the sprint finish ahead of Edward Theuns (Topsport) and Yauheni Hutarovich (Bretagne-Séché Environnement). 

The race was marred by a huge crash inside the final two kilometres with the majority of the field caught up or blocked by the carnage. However, that was inconsequential to Kristoff who opened a commanding sprint inside the final 150 meters to follow up on his Tour of Flanders success.

Kristoff and his Katusha team have been unbeatable in recent weeks, with Luca Paolini claiming Gent-Wevelgem and Kristoff a winner in the Three Days of De Panne before his Ronde triumph.

“It's unbelievable how the team is going. They worked really hard for me again today to pull it back for the sprint,” he told Sporza at the finish.

His win in Scheldeprijs had an air of inevitability about it. With Mark Cavendish, Andre Griepel, and Marcel Kittel all missing from the start list, Kristoff started as the favourite but there would have been little any of the notable absentees could have done against a rider in such form.

Even when his team faltered and left him isolated in the final two kilometres, the Norwegian had the confidence - there’s almost a swagger to his riding now – to position himself at the back of FDJ’s train before dipping his shoulder and coming through for the win.

“We came maybe a little too far with 1 to 2km to go. Then they did a good job to bring me to the front. In the last 500 meters, I was in perfect position and I could start when I want. I felt quite tired, because we had to use a lot of energy to get into position the last two kilometres. I was not really sure, but at the end I saw I had nobody to come past. It's a great feeling.”

The late crash that saw a number of the field crash had reduced the lead group to less than twenty riders with the vast majority of the peloton held up and forced to wait.

How it unfolded

Sandwiched between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix they say that Scheldeprijs offers the sprinters a chance of success on the cobbles – a reward for the hardships they have been put through over the climbs of northern Belgium.

However the three fastest men of their generation, in Cavendish, Kittel and Griepel were absent when the race left Antwerp under blue skies. Their loss was a gain for their rivals with Peter Sagan hunting for his second win of the season and the unstoppable Kristoff looking to maintain his purple patch of form.

Little wonder then when both Tinkoff Saxo and Katusha set about dismantling the advantage set by the early break after an hour of racing.

Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), Matteo Busato (Southeast), Vincent Jérôme (Europcar), Huub Duyn (Roompot), and Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare) had escaped just before the thirty kilometre point and established a lead of over four minutes by the time Kristoff’s and Sagan’s cavalry arrived.

The response was effective but slow releasing, the gap decreasing before it lay at just a minute with 20 kilometres remaining. At this point a number of other squads had sprung into action with Astana, Etixx-QuickStep and Team Sky showing noticeable intent at the head of the peloton.

De Vreese and Duyn fired off one last do-or-die attack with four kilometres remaining the advantage had been wiped out and the peloton looked set for a bunch sprint.

That all changed with just over a kilometre remaining when the battle for position proved too much with a touch of wheels leading to a major crash near the front of the field. The well positioned and the lucky made it through but Kristoff needs little help these days.

Next up for Kristoff and Katusha is Paris-Roubaix – a race where the Norwegian has struggled in the past.

“I hope I can keep this winning streak going, but Roubaix is a different race. I've struggled there before. I don't think I’m the biggest favourite, because I've never performed too well there, but I will try.”

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha4:30:10
2Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
3Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
4Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
6Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
7Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
8Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
9Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka
10Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
11Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
12Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
13Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky
14John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
15Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:08
16Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:11
17Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step
18Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:17
19Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:24
20Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
21Tom De Vriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
22Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
23Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
24Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
25Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
26Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
27Ralf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
28Joel Zangerle (Lux) Cult Energy Pro Cycling0:00:31
29André Looij (Ned) Team Roompot0:00:38
30Oliver Naesen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
31Theo Bos (Ned) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:42
32Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
33Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
34David Boucher (Fra) FDJ.fr
35Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
36Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr
37Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
38Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
39Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha0:00:47
40Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
41Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:00:53
42Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin0:00:56
43Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
44Wesley Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
45Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:03
46Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:06
47Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
48Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:09
49Martin Mortensen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling0:01:16
50Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
51Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
52Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
53Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
54Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
55Jesper Asselman (Ned) Team Roompot
56Karel Hnik (Cze) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
57Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
58Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:23
59Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
60Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing
61Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
62Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
63Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
64Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.fr
65Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
66Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) MTN - Qhubeka0:01:29
67Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
68Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:01:32
69Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
70Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
71Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
72Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
73Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing
74Antonio Viola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:01:43
75Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
76Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:46
77Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha
78Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:49
79Johan Van Summeren (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
80Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Team Roompot
81Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Team Roompot
82Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
83Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
84James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
85Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.fr
86Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast Pro Cycling
87Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
88Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
89Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:59
90Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:05
91Fabio Taborre (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
92Frédéric Brun (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
93Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
94Julien Morice (Fra) Team Europcar
95Alex Kirsch (Lux) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
96Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
97Gert Steegmans (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
98Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
99Edward King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
100Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:12
101Nick Dougall (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:02:16
102Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:02:18
103Maxat Ayazbayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
104Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo0:02:32
105Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
106Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
107Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
108Shiki Kuroeda (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:02:35
109Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
110Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:39
111Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
112Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
113Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
114Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
115Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:02:45
116Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:03:02
117Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Team Roompot0:03:11
118Huub Duijn (Ned) Team Roompot
119Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Roompot
120Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:23
121Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
122Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:03:26
123Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
124Alberto Nardin (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
125Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha
126Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
127Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
128Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
129Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
130Matthew Brammeier (Irl) MTN - Qhubeka
131Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
132Lander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
133Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
134Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:03:40
135Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:57
136Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
137Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
138Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
139Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
140Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
141Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
142Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky0:04:04
143Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:12
144Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing
145Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Europcar
146Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
147Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar
148Mattia Pozzo (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
149Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:18
150Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
151Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
152Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
153Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
154Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
155Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
156Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:04:25
157Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
158Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky0:04:36
159Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:50
160Mads Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling0:05:22
161Morgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar
162Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
163Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling0:05:33
164Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha0:05:36
165Samuele Conti (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
166Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar
167Frantisek Padour (Cze) Androni Giocattoli
168Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
169Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
170Genki Yamamoto (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
171Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:45
DNFLouis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFRomain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
DNFDaniel Mclay (GBr) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
DNFClément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFVincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFTiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFMirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
DNFFrederique Robert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFKen Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
DNFJakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
DNFNikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
DNFAndrea Dal Col (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFRobert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNSGiorgio Cecchinel (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling

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