Race report

Max Kanter first home in hectic and messy sprint finish at Scheldeprijs

Scheldeprijs

One day racing in Belgium continued today at Scheldeprijs, otherwise known as the unofficial sprinters world championships. This year due to restrictions, the race took place on the traditional finishing lap circuit in and around the town of Schoten.

It was a fierce start to the race with a big fight to get into the day’s breakaway that took almost two laps of the race to form. Eventually a nine rider group broke clear, with all Team Sunweb riders in the peloton. Due to the size and the strength of the breakaway group the gap was never allowed to extend to more than two minutes, with the bunch keeping them on a tight leash. This resulted in a high pace which caused some crashes in the bunch, which unfortunately saw key lead out men Casper Pedersen and Alberto Dainese stop the race early.

Heading into the finish there was an intense battle for position at the front of the bunch, with the team working to bring designated sprinter Max Kanter forward in the finale. However, they found themselves blocked in on the narrow roads and were unable to bring Kanter right to the front of the peloton. As the sprint opened up in the final few hundred metres, a crash forced Kanter to break and swerve, which put an end to any top ten challenge for him and the team.

“Today we had a pretty hectic start with quite a lot of attacks in the beginning of the race,” explained Kanter. “We tried to watch out for important moves and after the breakaway went clear, teams started to control the race. We sat together in a good position to relax a bit as it was quite clear early in the day that it would come back together for a bunch sprint. The guys tried to set me up in a good position, but unfortunately we never really had the space to get to the front. I was too far back and had no clear way to start my sprint at the finish. In the end we tried, but it was not the result we had hoped for. We’ll learn and will try to do it better next time.”

Team Sunweb coach Michiel Elijzen added: “We lost two riders really early with Casper and Alberto in crashes. We focused on the sprint with Max but without those two guys it was going to be a bit more difficult. We gambled too much in the final that we could come to the front later as we had fewer riders. The race never really opened for us though, so we couldn’t get into a good position to do a good lead out for Max. We tried our best in the finish and we’ll take some points away from today so that next time it will be better.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal 3:34:38 200
2 BONIFAZIO Niccolò Team Total Direct Energie ,, 150
3 COQUARD Bryan B&B Hotels - Vital Concept p/b KTM ,, 125
17 KANTER Max Team Sunweb ,, 5
58 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team Sunweb 0:27 -
59 BOL Cees Team Sunweb ,, -
106 MÄRKL Niklas Team Sunweb 1:05 -
124 HEINSCHKE Leon Team Sunweb 1:15 -
DNF DAINESE Alberto Team Sunweb - -
DNF PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb ,, -