Used to be that Marcel Kittel was the undisputed king of the Scheldeprijs race, but is there a new kid on the block? The German sprinter has won five recent editions of the race but faltered for the second year in a row, and for the second year in a row the race was taken by Fabio Jakobsen, a Dutch cyclist from the Deceuninck-QuickStep team. Jakobsen won from the predicted group sprint finish, emerging from behind a knot of other riders, slipping through a sudden opening to his right, and surging ahead of Sunweb’s Max Walscheid and Sky’s Christopher Lawless.
Though the early part of the race was animated by crosswinds as the peloton coursed across the Dutch Zeeland province, no serious breakaway had been established by the time the peloton entered Belgium and began the first of two laps around the Antwerp suburb of Schoten. Beginning around 25 kilometers from the finish, a series of riders tried to escape but most were quickly brought back. With 13 kilometers to go, classic breakaway artist Edvald Boasson Hagen had the best of the day’s breakaways, but he too was reeled back by the teams of the sprinters, with just under three kilometers to go.
Kittel, meanwhile, finished a distant 95th, while Andre Greipel, a formerly dominant sprinter now on a minor-league team, could only muster 21st.