Scheldeprijs: Jakobsen continues Quick-Step's winning streak

Fabio Jakobson continued Quick-Step Floors' incredible start to the season with a surprise win in Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, in reduced bunch sprint victory over Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Chris Lawless (Team Sky).

The race appeared to be heading towards a Marcel Kittel procession, with the German looking for his sixth title, but a string of incidents in the race - including a late puncture for the German - saw a number of high-profile candidates ruled out.

The main talking point came earlier in the race when a near 30-strong group containing Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) was disqualified after ignoring UCI rules at a level crossing. At that point, the bunch had split into several echelons, with both riders caught out in a second group. They tried to ride over the crossing too late and were disqualified as a result.

With Katusha and Kittel making the split it looked as though the German would take the win but his late puncture turned the race on its head. There were several late attacks, with none of the remaining sprint teams willing or able enough to control affairs.

Step forward Jakobson and Quick-Step, who wrestled control at the front of the field inside the closing kilometres. Lawless, already a victor in Team Sky colours this season, opened the sprint and looked to be heading for another win but his Quick-Step rival was simply too strong, with Ackermann coming around the British rider to steal second.

Jakobson, still just 21, but a winner of Nokere Koerse earlier this year, was asked to explain his team's dominance this season.

"I think it's because we start winning and everyone starts to believe in it. We always go for one guy full gas and that is the strength of the pack. When one person starts winning, we all want to start winning. It's amazing to be in 'the wolfpack'," Jakobsen said.

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Cross-winds come into play

The 2018 Scheldeprijs course was redesigned with a start in Terneuzen, Netherlands. Compared with the massive crowds in Mol last year, the fans didn’t find the way to Terneuzen on Wednesday. The first 100 kilometres through the flatlands in the Zeeland region didn’t disappoint. Grey clouds and a strong wind resulted in proper racing. Most roads connecting two villages were placed on top of a dyke, leaving the riders battling against the wind.

Unsurprisingly, on countless occasions, echelons were formed. Top favourite Marcel Kittel ended up at the back of the race when he punctured. Thanks to the support of Tony Martin, he managed to get back to the first peloton. A group of riders crashed hard into a small parked car. Among the victims were Lawrence Naesen (Lotto-Soudal), Phil Bauhaus (Sunweb), Marko Kump (CCC), Carlos Alzate, Eric Marcotte and Travis McCabe for United Healthcare.

After the first hour in the race, averaged at 48 kph, five riders escaped the peloton. They were Jan-Willem van Schip (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Sean De Bie (Lotto-Soudal), Jonas Rickaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Alexander Cataford (United Healthcare).

Groenewegen and Démare disqualified

The five leaders collected more than three minutes on the peloton but at the 100km mark, racing again kicked off in the peloton. In Krabbendijke, the first echelon safely passed through a train crossing. A second peloton of about 35 riders, led by French champion Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), ignored the lights and lowering barriers. A third and fourth echelon stopped at the barriers. Little later, the race jury took the Démare-group out of the race. Pre-race favourite Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) was also part of this group. Meanwhile, the five leaders were caught back by the first peloton.

When entering Belgium in Putte-Kapellen, after 130 kilometres of racing, rain welcomed the riders. With the Zeeland battle being over, the race situation was more clear. At this point in the race, only 54 riders were left in the main peloton. The Katusha team of Marcel Kittel took the lead, with all riders of the team present except for Tony Martin who was part of the group that was taken out after the train crossing.

Owain Doull (Sky) and Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) attacked the peloton in Ekeren at 60 kilometres from the finish. The duo reached the finish line to start the first of three 17km long local laps, riding one minute ahead of the bunch.

During the first local lap, it started to rain heavily when the riders reached the 1700 metres long pavé section of the Broekstraat. Katusha received support from Quick-Step Floors in order to bring the breakaway group back. With two laps to go, the gap was down to 1:20. When hitting the final lap, the gap to the two leaders was down to 37 seconds.


With Katusha stacking the front of the peloton it looked as though the peloton were willing to submit to the inevitable Kittle win. However, with just 12km the script was torn up when the five-time winner had a mechanical. He was chasing soon enough but his constant head-shaking suggested all was not well. Over the next six kilometres he chased back to the bunch but with just under seven kilometres to go he threw in the towel.

The Katusha-shaped hole at the front was filed by a number of team but several opportunists looking to escape after the Doull group was caught. With two kilometres to go Team Sky and Quick-Step traded turns on the front but Jakobson proved the fastest.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors4:23:51
2Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 1 - Cell 2
3Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team SkyRow 2 - Cell 2
4Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 4 - Cell 2
6Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team SunwebRow 5 - Cell 2
7Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 6 - Cell 2
8Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 7 - Cell 2
9Bram Welten (Ned) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 8 - Cell 2
10Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 9 - Cell 2
11Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 10 - Cell 2
12Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 11 - Cell 2
13Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 12 - Cell 2
14Bram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 13 - Cell 2
15Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 14 - Cell 2
16Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jan Willem van Schip (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 16 - Cell 2
18Andrew Fenn (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 17 - Cell 2
19Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 18 - Cell 2
20Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team SkyRow 19 - Cell 2
21Nicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 20 - Cell 2
22Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJRow 21 - Cell 2
23Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 22 - Cell 2
24Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 24 - Cell 2
26Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 26 - Cell 2
28Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 27 - Cell 2
29Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 28 - Cell 2
30Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:08
31Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:00:13
32Robert Wagner (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:15
33Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky0:00:16
34Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 33 - Cell 2
35Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 34 - Cell 2
36Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team SunwebRow 35 - Cell 2
37Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 36 - Cell 2
38Brian van Goethem (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ludovic Robeet (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:00:25
40Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:36
41Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky0:00:45
42Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 41 - Cell 2
43Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:07
44Kasper Asgreen (Den) Team Virtu Cycling0:01:27
45Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:01:28
46Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors0:01:44
47Enzo Wouters (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 46 - Cell 2
48Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:50
49Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:02:41
50Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin0:03:11
51Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJRow 50 - Cell 2
52Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto SoudalRow 51 - Cell 2
53Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 52 - Cell 2
54Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:03:34
55Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 54 - Cell 2
56Alexander Cataford (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:04:39
57Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:11
58Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:14
DSQTony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 58 - Cell 2
DSQRüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 59 - Cell 2
DSQDavide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 60 - Cell 2
DSQLars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 61 - Cell 2
DSQDylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 62 - Cell 2
DSQTimo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 63 - Cell 2
DSQAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-JumboRow 64 - Cell 2
DSQChristian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 65 - Cell 2
DSQIan Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 66 - Cell 2
DSQRoy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 67 - Cell 2
DSQLennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 68 - Cell 2
DSQArnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 69 - Cell 2
DSQRiccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
DSQHugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
DSQKim Magnusson (Swe) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 72 - Cell 2
DSQConor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue SportRow 73 - Cell 2
DSQMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 74 - Cell 2
DSQJimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 75 - Cell 2
DSQMichael Carbel (Den) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 76 - Cell 2
DSQFlorian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 77 - Cell 2
DSQSjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 78 - Cell 2
DSQAmaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 79 - Cell 2
DSQJordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 80 - Cell 2
DSQDries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 81 - Cell 2
DSQMathias De Witte (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 82 - Cell 2
DSQKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept ClubRow 83 - Cell 2
DSQSteven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept ClubRow 84 - Cell 2
DSQWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 85 - Cell 2
DSQKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 86 - Cell 2
DSQJimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 87 - Cell 2
DSQMichal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 88 - Cell 2
DSQJonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 89 - Cell 2
DSQAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 90 - Cell 2
DSQPatryk Stosz (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 91 - Cell 2
DSQTanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFMichal Kolár (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFLawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFJohann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension DataRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Dimension DataRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Team SunwebRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team SunwebRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Groupama-FDJRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFIgnatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFTruls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFTom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Aqua Blue SportRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue SportRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFDorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFBert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFBrice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFSindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-OscaroRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFSondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFHamish Schreurs (NZl) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFTyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFAviv Yechezkel (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFTim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFElmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFMilan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFEdward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFKenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFAidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFArjen Livyns (Bel) Beat Cycling ClubRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFAdrien Garel (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFJonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept ClubRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFMark McNally (Irl) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFFranklin Six (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFLukas Spengler (Swi) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFMarko Kump (Slo) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFPawel Bernas (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFJan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFCarlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Eaton (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFEric Marcotte (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFTravis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 155 - Cell 2

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.

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