Race report

Max Walscheid sprints to second place at Scheldeprijs

Scheldeprijs

Often dubbed as the “unofficial world championships for sprinters”, today’s edition of Scheldeprijs would see the riders tackle just over 200 kilometres from Borsele to Schoten. Strong winds would see the race blown to bits early on but as the direction of the route changed and the riders headed towards the final circuit around Schoten, the peloton regrouped with all Team Sunweb riders represented.

The focal point of the local circuit is the 1700m long stretch of cobbles known as Broekstraat, which ends with only seven kilometres to go in the day. A crash in the bunch during the last lap saw some hesitation within the peloton and Boasson Hagen launched a solo counter attack. However, with the sprint teams reorganised behind, everything was back together in the final three kilometres. Cees Bol brought Max Walscheid to the front coming under the flamme rouge, with the German rider well positioned at the head of the peloton. As things slowed down a little into the headwind finish, some riders jumped early from behind but Walscheid did well to move out and deliver a powerful sprint, coming home in second place.

Team Sunweb coach Michiel Elijzen was pleased with the result: “It was a tough day to start and the race situation was always changing with the echelons. After 140 kilometres the peloton eased down as we changed direction and everything came back together again. With the two local laps things were well controlled despite the cobbled section and it came down to a bunch kick. The team did well to bring Max up and position him for the sprint and he delivered a good result for us with his second place finish. It was a good result for the team after what was a hard day of racing.”

Walscheid was quick to thank the team: “We made the tactic to split the race in two parts, with the crosswinds and then the sprint. Both parts worked well and in the crosswinds I was never really out of position thanks to the team. In the local lap, the team was very committed and I pushed the guys to give it their all in the finale. We had a few difficult situations, including the crash of Roy, but when I saw him coming back to the front in the final lap, it showed that the commitment of the team was really clear. They brought to me one kilometre to go and from there I was on my own. I think we managed really well and came super close to the victory. It was a good day for us overall.”