Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 2022 men's Scheldeprijs race.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders have rolled out of the start for the neutralised ride to the official start.
🇧🇪🇳🇱 #SP22🚩 Off they go. See you in Schoten 👋 pic.twitter.com/Hv2yzPQPNyApril 6, 2022
The riders have left the centre of Terneuzen in the Netherlands and will head north and then under a long tunnel, to cross to the exposed Zeeland province.
The wind is blowing today and could be a major factor, especially early in Zeeland but also later during the rider north of the Schoten finishing circuit.
130 riders start the 110th edition of the Scheldeprijs.
Aaron Verwilst of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise is a late non starter.
This 110th edition of the Scheldeprijs will cover 79.5km in the Netherlands and 119.2 km in Belgium.
Greetings from Terneuzen!#SP22Photo: @BeelWout pic.twitter.com/5wNLHgQ6BJApril 6, 2022
A crash in the neutralised sector has slowed the roll-out.
This was the roll out.
#SP22 is underway. pic.twitter.com/Q3lDFa4ECpApril 6, 2022
And they're off!
The men start their 198.7km race from Terneuzen to Schoten. The race is known as the Scheldeprijs - the Schelde prize - because the route crosses the Schelde river a number of times.
The peloton is now under the Westerschelde waterway via the 6.6km tunnel.
Using the Westerscheldetunnel they'll ride 60 meters below sea level.
Will anyone attack in the tunnel? We'll find out soon.
The first two hours go through the open fields of Zeeland and could see the creation of echelons.
Forecasts expect a south westerly wind of around 35km/h. That means there will be a cross-tail wind in the early part of the race in Zeeland.
On reaching Belgium north of Antwerp, the peloton ride a loop to Brecht, again exposed to cross winds.
They will then start the three local laps after the first crossing of the finish line in Schoten after 147 kilometres.
The fourth and last passage on the cobbles of the Broekstraat are just 6 kilometres before the last corner, which is only 850 meter before the finish line.
The riders have emerged from the tunnel but no one has tried to get away for now.
Sporza have confirmed there are echelons on the exposed roads of Zeeland.
The peloton has split into two groups.
#SPmen - 🏁 178 kmE C H E L O N S 💨 💨 💨#SP22April 6, 2022
The peloton reforms but the split was a sign of things to come.
We will work to bring you updates from the women's Scheldeprijs race.
They started before the men and have 57km to race.
Team DSM are controlling the peloton as they chase a three-rider break.
The women's race is already on the finishing circuit. They face three laps of a 17.2km circuit.
The wind if blowing harder now and splitting the peloton into different groups.
It will be a hard day in the saddle at Scheldeprijs today.
There are three echelon groups. The third is already at 55 seconds!
There are 17 riders in the front group. They are perhaps forming he first break of the day.
#SPmen - 🏁 160 kmThe wind never disappoints in Zeeland. #SP22 pic.twitter.com/a0vBCL2lZMApril 6, 2022
These are the teams and riders in the front group that lead by 30 seconds.
Alpecin-Fenix: Philipsen and Merlier
Lotto Soudal: Selig
Intermarché-Wanty Gobert: Kristoff and Thijssen
BORA-hansgrohe: Bennett, Meeus, Mullen and Van Poppel
DSM: Bol, Van Uden and Welsford
There are some strong riders in the move.
The average speed for the first hour was 50.5 km/h!
Both Fabio Jakobsen of QuickStep and Arnaud De Lie of Lotto-Soudal both missed the split.
The other teams and the 15 riders are not waiting for them. The gap is up to 1:20.
This is a fascinating battle and high-stakes considering the effort required.
Alpecin-Fenix have Philipsen and Merlier in the attack, their two big sprinters.
BORA-hansgrohe have Bennett, Meeus, Mullen and Van Poppel here and will surely ride hard all the way to the finish.
Intermarché-Wanty Gobert have Kristoff, Trek-Segafredo have Theuns, Team DSM have Van Uden and Welsford, Arkea-Samsic have McLay and Uno-X-Pro have Waerenskjold.
They will surely commit to the break but risk being tired in an eventual bunch sprint if the peloton chases down.
However the peloton is also playing high-stakes poker.
They have to close a 1:20 gap but who, apart from QuickStep, will commit to the chase?
The peloton may eventually catch the attack but the effort will alo tire out their riders.
The gap is down to 30 seconds as QuickStep lead the chase. They can't afford to let this move open a significant gap.
In the women's race there are 15km to go.
The three attackers are just 35 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Rather than a peloton, there is a group chasing at 30 seconds but only QuickStep are doing the work.
The teams and riders are:
Alpecin-Fenix: Van Keirsbulck
Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl: Jakobsen, Stybar, Morkov and Steels
Lotto-Soudal: De Lie, Van Moer and Vermeersch
Trek-Segafredo: Hoole and Liepins
B&B Hotels-KTM: Mozzato and Morice
Sport Flanders-Baloise: Van Rooy
They can see them but can they catch them?
🇧🇪🇳🇱 #SP22We're almost in Belgium and there are still 30" between group 1 (with @MerlierTim and @JasperPhilipsen) and group 2 (with @007_GVK). pic.twitter.com/Y4fihN8pHzApril 6, 2022
10km to go in the women's race.
The peloton is only 15 seconds behind the break now.
Britain's Abby Smith attacks from the break as they it the late cobbled sector.
Abby Smith of EF is totally committed to a solo attack. She tucks low and tries to time trial to the finish.
But Trek is leading the chase.
5km to go.
Abby Smith is caught. It's going to be a sprint finish in the women's Scheldeprijs
The women are spread across the road.
A lot of riders go down in the peloton.
A touch of wheels near the front sparked a series of crashes.
Fortunately everyone is up and seems okay.
3km to go.
Movistar and Team DSM lead the peloton.
Trek are trying to set up Hosking.
2km to go.
Here come Lotto.
The peloton splits on different sides of the road.
The peloton squeezes into one lane and sweeps through the final corners.
Valcar take control on the front.
Back to the men's race and the pace remains high, with the 15 attackers still holding off the quality chase group.
In the second hour of racing, the leaders covered 50.1km. On average they rode 50.3 km for 106km.
That's thanks to a 35km/h tail wind but also some hard, fast racing.
The 16 riders continue to work together, as do QuickStep behind.
85km to go
The riders have crossed into Belgium.
The group is down to 13 riders after Gerben Thijssen (Intermarche) crashed earlier.
QuickStep are still leading the chase but the group has slipped to 1:10.
It's a power struggle between the attackers and the chasers.
Team cars are moving past the chasers to reach the break, that will be a mental blow to the chasers.
The riders reach Brecht and turn into the headwind but towards Schoten.
They start the three 17km finishing circuits with 51km to race.
75km to go
The riders in the break have taken turns to drop back to their team cars, losing a few seconds but taking on food, drinks and tactical advice.
QuickStep have Stybar, Steels and Morkov to chase but is that enough?
More riders are joining QuickStep in the chase, including Lotto Soudal and BikeExchange.
The gap is down to 40 seconds but it is still a Scheldeprijs pursuit match.
65km to go
The gap is down to 30 seconds but after chasing for 70km, the chasers are also tired.
The riders in the attack survive over the cobbled section, extending their lead to 45 seconds.
60km to go
The riders are on long straight roads now, making it hard for the chasers. They can see the attackers but they remain out of reach.
These are the riders in the front group:
Jasper Philipsen and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Rüdiger Selig (Lotto Soudal), Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sam Bennett, Jordi Meeus, Ryan Mullen and Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe), Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis), Casper van Uden and Sam Welsford (Team DSM), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Daniel McLay (Arkea-Samsic), Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team).
And these are the chasers:
Fabio Jakobsen, Michael Mørkøv, Zdenek Stybar, Stijn Steels (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), Arnaud De Lie, Brent Van Moer and Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal), Luca Mozzato and Julien Morice (B&B Hotels-KTM), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), (Lotto Soudal), Emils Liepins and Daan Hoole (Trek-Segafredo), Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange-Jayco), Szymon Sajnok (Cofidis), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Alpecin-Fenix), Tobias Andresen (Team DSM), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
55km to go
The front group seems to be losing unity, not every rider has the same desire and strength.
Sam Bennett is at the back and suffering. While Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X) has been distanced.
Bennett is doing a turn but is gritting his teeth. The Irishman is not yet back to his best after his knee injuries of 2021.
Bora have 4 riders in the attack and will surely ride for Danny van Poppel and a sprint finish.
50km to go
As the riders enter the Schoten circuit and pass below the finish barrier, there are 50km to race.
The chasers reach the finish area but are 1:00 down. The race is slipping away from them.
The team cars are back up to the 13-rider attack and so Jasper Philipsen drops back for food and a chat.
He is Alpecin's protected sprinter, with Tim Merlier under orders to work for his teammate after having his chance last week and winning at the Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne.
The chasers are losing time and are at 1:15 now. Their chances are fading all the time, with the rain making the chase even harder.
Here's Merlier doing his turn on the front.
Forza Fabio is painted large on the road along the canal. But can Jakobsen sprint for a third victory at Scheldeprijs?
It doesn't look like it.
35km to go
The QuickStep riders seem to have blown up. Only Morkov is near the front, with Lotto forced to pick-up the chase.
The attackers pass through the finish again, with two laps and 34km to go.
Start the clock to time the gap.
The chasers are 1:05 behind.
The chasers continue to chase but seem to lack the numbers and determination to close the gap.
🇧🇪 #SP2235km remaining, gap more than a minute again. looks promising now 🤞 pic.twitter.com/VNTrQnMWhRApril 6, 2022
Ryan Mullen drops back to the Bora team car. If Bennett is not on form to sprint today, then Mullen will play a key to chase attacks and perhaps lead out Van Poppel.
Bennett grimaces to try to hold the wheel. He is fighting the pain but refuses to give up.
The chasers have slipped to 1:30, with Jakobsen thanking a teammate but also throwing in the towel.
There are 13 riders up front and they will surely fight for victory today.
But will it be a sprinter or late attacker?
20km to go
The pace has dropped in the attack as they realise they will not be caught and begin to play tactical games.
There are some strong sprinters in the attack: Jasper Philipsen and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Sam Bennett and Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe), Daniel McLay (Arkea-Samsic) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux).
But they will have to control any attacks.
Ding, ding, ding, ding.
The bell rings out for the last lap of the 17.2km circuit.
The chasers were over 2:00 behind the attackers. It will be a surprise if most of them even complete the race.
10km to go
We're starting to see some surges and attacks in the group.
Bora have 4 riders, so they have to control things. Surely Mullen and Meuss will chase the attacks.
Mullen made a first attack to test the water but Merlier closed him down.
These are the 13 riders up front: a mix of sprinters, teammates and opportunists.
Anyone of them could win after such a hard race.
Now Theuns moves off the front but is marked.
Casper van Uden goes next but is also caught.
Bennett helped chase him and eases up. He's cooked more than pasta in France.
8km to go
The riders hit the pave. This could be a key moment.
Mullen is up front, marked by Philipsen.
Philipsen and Merlier are swapping the role of going with attacks.
Boom! There goes Kristoff.
He goes solo and with power.
Kristoff has speed and power, while lots of the chasers seem tired.
The other riders are spread down the road and not united in any kind of chase.
It is up to Bora and the likes of Theuns to chase now.
5km to go
The chasers aren't united as Kristoff digs deep and fights to stay away.
The chasers open across the road. They are losing any chance of victory.
Kristoff lead by 12 seconds. This could be the longest sprint of his life.
Kristoff is rocking on his bike as he goes deep. But he still leads by 16 seconds as the other chase each other.
Casper van Uden sets off in lone pursuit of Kristoff but he has only 3km to catch him.
2km to go
Kristoff is out of sight.
Scheldeprijs is known as the sprinter's classic. A sprinter is about to win it but with a solo attack.
Kristoff can sense he will win.
This is a big day for him and for Intermarche.
He was 10th at the Tour of Flanders and so is on form and always ready for a hard race.
The other riders are racing for the placings.
Kristoff wins Scheldeprijs with a solo attack!
Danny van Poppel takes the sprint for 2nd place but almost 30 seconds down on Kristoff.
Merlier sportingly congratulates Kristoff on his solo win.
Here's Kristoff on the way to victory.
Fabio Jakobsen sprints to bring home the chase group but over three minutes down on where he wanted to be.
Kristoff attacked solo n the wet cobbles. He pushed a big gear and nobody had the response to get on his wheel.
He then time trialed to victory. Chapeau.
Kristoff was tired but happy.
"It was a hard race," he said.
"In the finale Bora and Alpecin erre attacking on the last lap. I was suffering to cover all the moves because I was alone after my teammate crashed out. So in the end of cobbles I thought to give it a try to get away. Nobody followed me and so I pushed everything I had."
Kristoff suffered but enjoyed his day of solo glory.
“I had good legs in the final, and I felt good all day. It’s nice to win solo, it's one of only a few solo victories I’ve ever taken. It’s a special one," he said.
Kristoff played a tactical game.
“I saw that Bora had a lot of riders, so for sure they didn’t want it to come back, but it was close at one point," about the way QuickStep tried to chase for much of the race.
"There was a battle between the Bora riders and Alpecin. Bora had the manpower but also had to work extra, it’s not always best to have the most riders. Today I managed to do it on my own today."
Kristoff continued Intermarche's excellent spring campaign after Girmay won Gent-Wevelgem.
“We’ve had a really good Classics season and a great season so far. I think we can already be happy with our season," he said.
This is the top ten for Scheldeprijs.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux||4:06:02|
|2||Danny van Poppel (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:24|
|3||Sam Welsford (Aus) Team DSM|
|4||Casper van Uden (Ned) Team DSM||0:00:26|
|5||Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|6||Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis||0:00:28|
|7||Daniel McLay (GBr) Arkea-Samsic|
|8||Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:00:30|
|9||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:00:41|
|10||Ryan Mullen (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:07|
Kristoff climbs on stage to take the winner's trophy.
Scheldeprijs is a win to savour for the Norwegian veteran.
Kristoff also opened the champagne on the podium.
Kristoff deserved his sip of champagne after racing so hard.
#SP22 🇧🇪 @Kristoff87: "I attacked in the final because I was in a hurry to take my plane home after 2 weeks in Belgium. This victory is definitely special as I don't often win solo. Next up is @Paris_Roubaix!" pic.twitter.com/QgJc39kmrQApril 6, 2022
Here's the moment Alexander Kristoff wins Scheldeprjis.
After 17 years of bunch sprints, a solo attack wins the men's Scheldeprijs race!April 6, 2022
This crazy decision to ride down the race route as riders were coming by Tim is also a hot topic today.
We suspect he might be punished for it.
Wrong Way, Tim!@MerlierTim had to hop over the barriers to avoid an incident after the finish of #Scheldeprijs pic.twitter.com/Z3t1eVMXXnApril 6, 2022
It is 17 years since Scheldeprijs didn't end in a bunch sprint. Back in 2005
Thorwald Veneberg of Rabobank beat Tomas Vaitkus after the two got away.
Kristoff last won Scheldeprijs in 2015, when he beat Ed Theuns.
To read our full Scheldeprijs report and see our growing photo gallery and full results, click below.
We'll be back with more live coverage from Itzulia Basque Country on Thursday and Friday and then from the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, where will have live updates from both the men's and the women's races.
Thank you for signing up to Cyclingnews. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
López lives to fight another stage as Giro d'Italia's Best Young RiderSpaniard remains in ninth overall after mountain-top finish
Landa wants to be more than third man in fight for Giro d'Italia victory'Nobody has shown weakness and anything can happen on Saturday" says Bahrain Victorious leader
Climbing king Bouwman takes it all on Giro d'Italia summit finish - videoDouble stage winner has mathematically unbeatable lead in King of the Mountains title fight
Richard Carapaz: Marmolada finale can make the difference at Giro d'ItaliaEcuadorian carries three-second lead over Hindley into closing weekend
Bouwman: I didn't make a mistake. I deserved this victoryJumbo-Visma rider insists he made no errors in taking his second Giro d'Italia stage win
'I went full throttle' - Henderson animates RideLondon opener with solo escapeBritish rider caught in final 200 metres, takes mountains jersey in Essex
Jai Hindley: It didn't work out the way we wanted on stage 19 of Giro d'ItaliaBora-Hansgrohe's Kolovrat forcing couldn't break race open for Australian
Schmid, Vendrame fuming after corner debacle in Giro d'Italia finaleQuickStep rider says Bouwman's sprint was 'not fair'
Tour of Norway: Marco Haller wins stage 4Vernon second, Kristoff third in Kristiansand