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Scheldeprijs - Live coverage


Hello! Sandwiched between Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders in this most unusual of seasons, we continue down the cobbled Classics campaign with Scheldeprijs. However, this is itself a most unusual Scheldeprijs - there are no cobbles and it's now more of a Kermesse than a Classic. 

The riders have all signed on under a cloak of light grey skies above Schoten. The start of the race is coming up in around 10 minutes. 

As expected, the start list dominated by sprinters. We have Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who surely start as favourites given the relatively undemanding nature of the parcours. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) is another pure sprinter while the fastmen who cross over into Classics riders include the UAE Team Emirates duo of Alexander Kristoff and Jasper Philippsen. 

This is the scene as the riders gather on the start line

And they're off!

Cavendish is here, having hinted that Gent-Wevelgem might have been the last race of his career. Will this be the final bow? We'll have to wait and see, but he sounded like someone who'd come to terms with not racing into 2021. Cavendish spoke at the start just before, and we'll have something on that on the way very shortly. 

Here's a closer look at our 17.3km circuit, with its 12 corners. They're going anti-clockwise.

Two riders have clipped off the front in the early exchanges, and that could be our main breakaway. We'll bring you the names in a second.

The two breakaway hopefuls are Nathan van Hooydonck and Elmar Reinders (Riwal Securitas). However, they haven't been let go just yet, and the peloton is strung out into one long line. 

Kristoff reveals he's Plan B for UAE - Philippsen is Plan A

One lap down

It's all back together again on the second lap. 

Casper Pedersen (Sunweb) crashes. He won Paris-Tours at the weekend. 

Renewed breakaway attempts have led to a group of eight clipping off the front, including... Cavendish

Casper Pedersen abandons. That leaves Sunweb with Cees Bol, and Alberto Dainese as a back-up. Pedersen is due to ride Flanders on Sunday. 

The riders in the breakaway are:

The break have opened up a minute. We're on the third of the 10 laps now. 

A reminder that we also have live coverage of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia happening right now. Join Daniel Benson to find out what kettle he's just bought and what happens on the expected bunch sprint in Rimini

Another blow for Sunweb, as Dainese, who was also apparently caught up in that Pedersen crash, abandons. 

The breakaway aren't being allowed much more than a minute here, as Bennett's Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates take control of the peloton. 

I may not have sold it very well so far, but if you want to watch this race, here's how you can do so. 

3/10 laps done

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) abandons

"I don't have a desire to stop," Cavendish said this morning. "I don't want to stop. I love this sport. I give my life to this sport and I'd like to continue riding my bike."

Here is Cavendish out there in the break, for the second race in a row

We're inside the last 100km now as we near the end of lap 4. 

My colleague Brecht Decaluwé has an update on Mads Pedersen, who is fine and has apparently withdrawn as a precaution ahead of Flanders. 

The gap to the breakaway has come down to just less than a minute now. 

As promised, here's the story on Cavendish, with the full quotes.

5/10 laps remaining

We've mentioned a few possible contenders in Bennett, Ewan, Kristoff, Philippsen, Bol, Ackermann, but I'll mention a few more...

SCHOTEN BELGIUM OCTOBER 14 Peloton Landscape during the 108th Scheldeprijs 2020 a 1733km stage from Schoten to Schoten Scheldeprijs FlandersClassic SP20 on October 14 2020 in Schoten Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

73km to go

Gruzdev leads the break across the line, with four laps of the 17.3km circuit remaining. 

Zdenek Stybar leads the peloton to the line, 1:25 in arrears. He's a lone QuickStep rider up there for now. They'll start to form a proper train after a couple more laps. 

Alpecin-Fenix, UAE Team Emirates, Lotto Soudal, and B&B are all also prominent in sending riders up for turns at the head of the peloton. 

Bennett still has a gilet and arm warmers on as he rides at the back of the bunch. It's been a fast race but not really a stressful one so far. The Irishman has just been named in QuickStep's Vuelta line-up, so that's a Grand Tour double for the first time in his career. 

65km to go

Our top story today comes from the Giro d'Italia, where an anonymous rider has revealed to us details of crowded hotel buffets and of a general feeling of unease.

Meanwhile, stage 11 of the Giro is just 15km away from its conclusion, so if you want to follow live coverage of that one (in a new tab, obviously), here's the link

Back in the Scheldeprijs and the break continue to lose ground. It's a solid chase with a lot of different teams getting involved, but 45 seconds with 57km to go feels stingy. 

A Bennett win today would make it five in a row for Deceunick-QuickStep, after Fabio Jakobsen won the past two editions and Marcel Kittel - a five-time winner - the two before that. Kittel is obviously retired now and Jakobsen is unable to make it a hattrick given he's still recovering from that horrible crash at the Tour de Pologne. Here's the latest on the Dutchman's progress

3/10 laps remaining

Along with QuickStep, Lotto, and Bora, the bright yellow jersey of Tarteletto-Isorex stands out in the chasing force at the head of the bunch. They're apparently working for local lad Michael Van Staeyen, who's riding his 12th Scheldeprijs! His best result was 8th from 2015.

The gap has nudged back out to 45 seconds. 

SCHOTEN BELGIUM OCTOBER 14 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Bahrain Mclaren Breakaway during the 108th Scheldeprijs 2020 a 1733km stage from Schoten to Schoten Scheldeprijs FlandersClassic SP20 on October 14 2020 in Schoten Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

40km to go

Owain Doull drops off the back of the peloton. Ineos are working for Lawless, who has finished third in the past two editions. 

2/10 laps remaining

Cavendish dropped from the breakaway

The pace is lifted up front as they start the ninth lap. Cavendish doesn't seem too bothered about trying to stay up there, and drifts back to the bunch as TV and neutral service motos lend him some applause. 

A reminder that Cavendish spoke about his future ahead of the race

So the breakaway is down to seven and they have 33 seconds in hand with 33km to go. 

Meanwhile in Italy...

Cavendish also gets a pat on the back from former teammate Guillaume Van Keirsbulck as he slots back into the bunch. Have we seen the last of him? Time will tell. 

25km to go


Arkea have a number of riders up towards the front of the bunch but their sprinter Bouhanni was at the back alongside Grondin.

20km to go

Total Direct Energie hit the front now as the shape of the peloton changes from one-rider representatives controlling the break to full team trains being set up for positioning ahead of the final lap. 

Askey attacks

1/10 laps remaining

And now Havik launches a huge acceleration to drop Askey. 

Deceuninck-QuickStep set up en masse at the head of the peloton, with Trek-Segafredo also prominent. Trek have lost Pedersen but still have Theuns and Stuyven.

Hakiv has opened up a big gap here as Askey, seemingly paying for his efforts, fights to stay on the back of the rest of the breakaway group.

QuickStep fade as Bora take it up with Brughardt. They're on the left, with Total through the middle and Trek on the right. 

14km to go

Havik is holding off the peloton for now, at 20 seconds. He has a good 10 seconds on his former breakaway companions. 

12km to go

Havik continues to put his heart and soul into this but his lead has dipped to 15 seconds. 

B&B hit the front after the catch, working for Coquard. 

10km to go

A reminder of the map with 9km to go. We're going clockwise and we're just under half-way round. 

Pain is written all over Havik's face as he buries his head into his bars. The peloton are right upon him though and the catch is imminent.

8km to go

QuickStep come to the front but pull off now, as they look around at each other. 

QuickStep get themselves organised again on the left, with Trek still over on the right. Bora are down the middle. 

A reminder of the contenders we ran through a little earlier

Total come to the fore once more, and now Lotto and UAE move up as the urgency increased with 6km to go.

5km to go

We're still heading along the river and we're about to take that right-hander you can see on the map. 

Big acceleration ahead of the corner. 

Lampaert launches a mini sprint to ensure QuickStep are first through that bend, and now they head into town. The Belgian team have the nose. 

3km to go and now UAE punch their way to the front

Stybar's done a load of work controlling the break but now he's posted to the front again as QuickStep lead again with four. 

2km to go

QuickStep lose numbers now and Bora take it up with 1.2km to go

Trains are running out of gas and it’s getting messy now. Alpecin have number and Lotto take it up now with 900m to go!

Alpecin hit the front now, but UAE come through now with Kristoff to lead out Philippsen

Ewan hits the front though! And there’s a big crash

Ewan wins it!

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) wins the 2020 Scheldeprijs

The Australian hit the line first ahead of an angry Ackermann, with Coquard or Bonifazio third.

That was a messy sprint made even more messy by that crash. A rider from Riwal Securitas hit the deck really hard in the middle of the road. He's still down and does not look in a good way. He's receiving medical attention. Ivan Cortina crashed into him but is back on his feet now. 

Replays show the crash happened as Ackermann moved out to launch his sprint. In scenes reminiscent of the Jungels-Higuita crash at the Tour, his back wheel cuts across the Riwal rider's front wheel and he hits the deck with his head taking a big impact. 


A fine win expands Caleb Ewan's palmarès yet further. It was a messy one, but he anticipated the Kristoff-Philippsen lead-out and got the jump and a few bike lengths. In truth he made it look simple. 

Hearing that Ackermann has been disqualified for that incident I mentioned.

You can see the replay in this clip

Awaiting confirmation of whether Ackermann has been relegated to the back of the bunch or full-on disqualified. Either way, he's been sent away from the podium, so we now have Bonifazio in second place and Coquard in third. 

Scheldeprijs 2020 108th Edition Schoten Schoten 1733 km 14102020 Caleb Ewan AUS Lotto Soudal Pascal Ackermann GER Bora Hansgrohe photo Peter De VoechtPNBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

New top 10 

August Jensen is the rider who crashed hard on his head in the incident that has seen Ackermann disqualified. We have no update on his condition for now but we hope for the best as it looked very worrying indeed. That was clear from the fact that Ackermann's teammate Rudiger Selig stopped in the home straight, turned round, and ran back to tend to the stricken rider. 

The end of the road? Cavendish pocketed his race number on the run-in there...

SCHOTEN BELGIUM OCTOBER 14 Arrival Pierre Barbier of France and Team Nippo Delko Provence Rudiger Selig of Germany and Team Bora Hansgrohe Ivan Garcia Cortina of Spain and Team Bahrain Mclaren Crash Peloton Landscape during the 108th Scheldeprijs 2020 a 1733km stage from Schoten to Schoten Scheldeprijs FlandersClassic SP20 on October 14 2020 in Schoten Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Here's our report page, with results and photos

Let's hear from Ewan

Jensen, thankfully, appears to be largely ok. Norwegian publication VG have spoken to the Riwal director Michael Skelde, who says: "It was a crash at high speed, and of course it looks ugly. But all in all, it will go well with him, even if he has to take a couple of days to recover.

Ackermann's relegation hasn't gone down well at Bora...

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