Like every year the Scheldeprijs is a meeting for the fast guys in the peloton, and it was not to be a different story this year. In the end Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) underlined his recent form and added another win to his palmarès. The Norwegian had the fastest legs and came in ahead of Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Yauheni Hutarovich (Bretagne – Séché Environnement). Tyler Farrar presented Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s stripes at the end and finished 9th.
The 200 kilometer long race from Antwerp to Schoten started fast and saw 7 riders breaking clear after 30 kilometers. The group built up a lead of around 4:30 minutes. Nevertheless, the sprinters team’s had different goal and quickly reduced the gap to 2:30 minutes after just 60 kilometers into the race.
At this time MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung drove the peloton together with Katusha and Tinkoff-Saxo, clearly enjoying the characteristics of the race. The gap came down even further, once the riders arrived on the finishing circuit in Schoten.
With 10 kilometers to go Laurens De Vreese (Astana) attacked his breakaway companions. But his attack was soon over, as the strung-out peloton reeled the break back in. Over the last few kilometers the bunch stayed together. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung kept Tyler Farrar out of trouble at the front of the race.
The American was able to avoid a crash on the last kilometer that forced a split in the peloton and was right up there in the mix on the last meters of the race. In the end he managed to cross the line in 9th after a fast and furious run-in.
Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director
We were racing for Tyler today, given that he already won this race in the past and came in second last year. After the break got away we were one of the teams that controlled the pace in the peloton. Our plan worked out well until about 10 kilometers to go when the break eventually was caught. After that we lost it. Luckily Tyler was up there to get a Top10. But as said, we hoped for a podium, so I’m a bit disappointed. We want a result and must now try everything on Sunday.