Alexander Kristoff has won a special edition of the Scheldeprijs. The Norwegian rider of the Belgian Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert broke away from a large leading group and crossed the line solo after 198 kilometers in Schoten.
It was the first time in seventeen years that the Scheldeprijs did not end in a bunch sprint. In 2005 it was the Dutchman Thorwald Veneberg who won after a long flight with the Lithuanian Tomas Vaitkus.
Less than half a minute behind Kristoff, Danny van Poppel won the sprint of the chasing group. With Casper van Uden, a Dutchman also finished in fourth place. Fabio Jakobsen, who had set his sights on a third overall victory, was in the peloton and therefore played no significant role. He finished fifteenth.
It is the second time that Kristoff has won the Scheldeprijs. The Norwegian also did that in 2015, when in a bunch sprint.
View the reaction of Fabio Jakobsen.
Fans had given the course a completely different character. A leading group quickly developed on the Zeeland roads in which Alpecin-Fenix had two contenders with the Belgians Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen and the Irish sprinter Sam Bennett even had three teammates with him. Cees Bol, the sprinter of DSM, had bad luck and dropped out in the front due to a flat tire.
Most notable was the lack of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders in the first group. But the Belgian team is not in the best period of its existence and had to chase. Jakobsen, the finisher who had already won the Scheldeprijs twice, had three teammates around him for that.
That group never came any closer and in the final lap it was clear that the winner was already at the front. However, the Bora riders had demanded too much of their strength there, Van Poppel also noticed. “A surplus can also be a disadvantage,” the Dutchman told Sporza. “I wanted to do the same as Kristoff, but right after I made the first attempt, he ran off.”
The second women’s edition was won by Lorena Wiebes earlier this afternoon. The 23-year-old Dutchman was the fastest in the sprint after 138 kilometers. The Team DSM rider also sprinted to the win in Schoten in Belgium in the first edition last year.
Wiebes was clearly faster than the rest of the pack. She finished well ahead of Italy’s Chiara Consonni and Rachele Barbieri, who finished second and third. Charlotte Kool, Wiebes’ teammate at DSM, finished tenth.
Kool helped Wiebes in the sprint. ,,I lost track of Charlotte for a while, but I picked it up again. I was able to get over it and get the win,” said Wiebes. “As a team, we controlled the game from start to finish.” Her team also managed to avoid a crash a few kilometers from the finish.
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