Kittel beats Cavendish to win Scheldeprijs

Marcel Kittel (Etixx Quickstep) won his fourth Scheldeprijs title on Wednesday after a sprint finish against Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

The German led out the sprint with Cavendish waiting until the final 100 meters before trying to counter. Despite a valiant effort from the British rider, Kittel was able to hold on and take the win. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finished third.

Kittel’s win puts him ahead of Cavendish in the all-time record books with the German on four wins in Scheldeprijs and Cavendish stuck on three.

“The team did a super job to get me in the right position. It was a good fight with Mark,” Kittel said at the finish. 

“I said before the race that I'm not here to make history, I'm racing for joy, for pleasure, just riding my bike. It's even better if I could get the record here for the wins in the Scheldeprijs. I like this race. Sometimes it's not easy, like today. You normally always have the best sprinters here, and it's great to win.”

Kittel, of course, replaced Cavendish at Etixx over the winter with the British rider moving to Dimension Data. Such sub-plots mattered little today, with the win the only objective for both riders. They of weren’t the only contenders who lined up in Antwerp with Greipel, Elia Viviani (Team Sky), and defending champion Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) all potential winners.

The riders lined up in the shadow of the MAS Pavilion museum in the renovated Antwerp docks, using the modern building to protect them from the cold western wind that was blowing across northern Belgium.

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Segafredo) chatted calmly with Germany’s Robert Wagner (LottoNL-Jumbo), while Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) avoided the clamour of the Belgian cycling fans by quickly signing on and then only returning to the start area after the first riders rolled away for the 208km race.

With the grey skies gathering, none of the 162 starters were in the mood to race hard from the start. The early break of the day formed soon after the official race start in Schoten. In it were Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Berden De Vries (Roompot), French national champion Steven Tronet (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) and Tomasz Kiendys (CCC Sprandi Polkowice). Other riders tried to go across but were quickly controlled before the peloton allowed the six to open a lead of three minutes.

The gap rose to five minutes after 45 kilometers of racing, with a tailwind helping the break as they headed north, despite rain beginning to fall. After a 100km the gap was down to three minutes as the different sprinters’ team put a rider on the front of the peloton to help the chase. The peloton split into several groups after 150km of racing, with Sagan caught behind but the rainbow jersey was soon back up front with some help from two teammates.

The break ran out of steam as the race approached the finish area. Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) jumped away alone and was then joined by Brian Van Goethem (Rompoot). They got the first cheer from the crowd but never opened a huge advantage. Belgian national champion Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Sebastien Turgot (AG2R La Mondiale) tried to go across, but with the likes of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) helping with the chase, they were quickly pulled back.

The rain started to come down hard with 40km left to race and this sparked the early retirement of Ian Stannard (Team Sky) who preferred to save himself for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. Other riders preferred to stay on or near the front to avoid possible crashes but the riders seemed to respect each others' safety as the circuit twisted around the country roads east of Antwerp.

The wind added an extra factor to the race, with the peloton lined out as the speed increased. Dimension Data rode carefully to protect Cavendish and the hint of an echelon saw several riders go out the back. Boonen ensured he was well placed but after dropping off young teammate Erik Baska, Sagan sat up and slipped out of the race via the back door, preferring to avoid any risks before Paris-Roubaix.

Dimension Data continued to lead the race as the last lap approached with Matt Brammeier on the front for the African team before Lotto Soudal and Etixx-Quickstep also moved up. The pace was not yet high as the bell rang for the start of the final 18.6km lap around Schoten.

With the race approaching the final 10 kilometers Etixx, Lotto Soudal and Dimension Data vied for control but it wasn’t until the final 3km that Kittel’s team began to dominate. Tyler Farrar, who had helped Cavendish position himself on Kittel’s back wheel – almost a victory in itself given the effort it required – peeled off, leaving Kittel, Cavendish and Greipel as the three best positioned sprinters.

Kittel led the sprint out, and it quickly became apparent that Griepel lacked the freshness in his legs to compete. Cavendish had hung on, and he opted to come around Kittel’s right. He was pulling level as the line approached but Kittel had more in the tank and one last push for the line saw the Etixx rider come out on top.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step4:54:05
2Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension DataRow 1 - Cell 2
3André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 2 - Cell 2
4Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 3 - Cell 2
5Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team SkyRow 5 - Cell 2
7Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 6 - Cell 2
8Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 7 - Cell 2
9Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 8 - Cell 2
10Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 9 - Cell 2
11Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 10 - Cell 2
12Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18Row 11 - Cell 2
13Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 12 - Cell 2
14Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 13 - Cell 2
15Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team KatushaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 15 - Cell 2
17Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ0:00:03
18André Looij (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 17 - Cell 2
19Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast - VenezuelaRow 20 - Cell 2
22Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 21 - Cell 2
23Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJRow 22 - Cell 2
24Eryk Laton (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team KatushaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:09
28Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 27 - Cell 2
29Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:00:11
30Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 29 - Cell 2
31Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 32 - Cell 2
34Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:14
35Barry Markus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 34 - Cell 2
36Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:20
37Rayane Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 37 - Cell 2
39Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 38 - Cell 2
40Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 40 - Cell 2
42Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La MondialeRow 41 - Cell 2
43Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 42 - Cell 2
44Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky0:00:23
47Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team0:00:25
48Matteo Draperi (Ita) Southeast - VenezuelaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Astana Pro TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 53 - Cell 2
55Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 54 - Cell 2
56Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 55 - Cell 2
57Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 57 - Cell 2
59Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 58 - Cell 2
60Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data0:00:29
61Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 60 - Cell 2
62Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 61 - Cell 2
63Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 62 - Cell 2
64Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 63 - Cell 2
65Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18Row 64 - Cell 2
66Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 65 - Cell 2
67Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 66 - Cell 2
68Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 67 - Cell 2
69Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 68 - Cell 2
70Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 69 - Cell 2
71Michael Morkov (Den) Team KatushaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:00:39
73Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 72 - Cell 2
74Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 73 - Cell 2
75Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 74 - Cell 2
76Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela0:00:42
77Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:49
79Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 180:00:51
80Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek-Segafredo0:01:07
81Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 80 - Cell 2
82Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 180:01:18
83Ivar Slik (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 82 - Cell 2
84Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:20
85Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:23
86Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data0:01:27
87Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:01:31
88Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:41
89Enrique Sanz (Spa) Southeast - Venezuela0:01:44
90Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:50
91Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 180:01:52
92Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:02:03
93Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 92 - Cell 2
94Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:07
95Borut Bozic (Slo) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 95 - Cell 2
97Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 96 - Cell 2
98Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:02:15
99Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:18
100Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 99 - Cell 2
101Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 100 - Cell 2
102Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 101 - Cell 2
103Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 102 - Cell 2
104Julien Morice (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 103 - Cell 2
105Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 104 - Cell 2
106Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 106 - Cell 2
108Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha0:02:25
109Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:44
110Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ0:03:05
111Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 110 - Cell 2
112Matt Brammeier (Irl) Dimension DataRow 111 - Cell 2
113Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJRow 113 - Cell 2
115Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct EnergieRow 114 - Cell 2
116Jesse Sergent (NZl) AG2R La MondialeRow 115 - Cell 2
117Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 116 - Cell 2
118Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 117 - Cell 2
119Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 118 - Cell 2
120Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 119 - Cell 2
121Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data0:04:10
122Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 121 - Cell 2
123Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct EnergieRow 122 - Cell 2
124Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 123 - Cell 2
125Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 124 - Cell 2
126Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 125 - Cell 2
127Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
128Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:12
129Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 128 - Cell 2
130Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 129 - Cell 2
131Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:05:17
132Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJRow 131 - Cell 2
133Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 132 - Cell 2
134Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 133 - Cell 2
135Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 134 - Cell 2
136Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team SkyRow 135 - Cell 2
137Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:05:48
138Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 137 - Cell 2
139Steven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:07:56
140Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 139 - Cell 2
141Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 140 - Cell 2
142Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 141 - Cell 2
143Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18Row 142 - Cell 2
144Andrea Dal Col (Ita) Southeast - VenezuelaRow 143 - Cell 2
145Maxime Cam (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 144 - Cell 2
146Lander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 145 - Cell 2
147Mirko Trosino (Ita) Southeast - VenezuelaRow 146 - Cell 2
148Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 147 - Cell 2
149Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 148 - Cell 2
150Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - VenezuelaRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFNils Politt (Ger) Team KatushaRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFMaxat Ayazbayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFLars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFIan Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff TeamRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFTomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFAdrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFBerden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje PelotonRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFAimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFSander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFJérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 161 - Cell 2
DNSLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 162 - Cell 2

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