Team News – Kittel’s 4th Victory at Scheldeprijs


Marcel Kittel (Ettix Quickstep) held off Mark Cavendish to land his seventh victory of the season & his fourth win at the 104th edition of Scheldeprijs

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Team News – Kittel’s 4th Victory at Scheldeprijs

The German Marcel Kittel (Ettix Quickstep) landed his seventh victory of the season with his fourth win at the 104th edition of Scheldeprijs


© Etixx – Quick-Step / Tim de Waele

With two kilometers left of the 104th edition of Scheldeprijs, Etixx – Quick-Step hit the front with three riders, who were working to bring Marcel Kittel in an ideal position for the bunch sprint.

Up until that point, the race had two breakaways in the spotlight, but neither spelled trouble for the peloton who was controlled by the sprinters’ teams. Another important factor was that unlike other seasons, this year’s edition of the Belgian event was much calmer, without any incidents or crashes to take some riders out of the equation.

After his teammates formed a strong lead-out and escorted him up until the final 200 metres, Marcel Kittel – who has already enjoyed success this season in Belgium at Driedaagse De Panne – opened his powerful sprint and went down to the line against Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), winning by a tyre’s width and scoring his seventh victory since joining Etixx – Quick-Step, which makes him the most successful World Tour rider of 2016.

Marcel, who made no secret of the fact that Scheldeprijs is one of the biggest goals of the season for him, has written history by finishing first in Schoten, after 208 kilometers, as he has now becomes the only rider to win the oldest Flemish race on four occasions.

It was the perfect scenario for Marcel Kittel – who was forced to miss last year’s edition – but despite this historic achievement, he was quick to stress out that he’s not racing for records, but for the pure joy cycling gives him: “I don’t do this for numbers or for records. I just race because I love this and I love winning races. Of course, I’m glad to take the victory, just as having a team that supports me 100% and helps me get the most out of my talent makes me very happy.”

The 27-year-old German also made an analysis of the last two kilometers, which saw things heat up in the peloton as the riders were fighting for a better position: “The new finale was good and this meant there were no more crashes, but it’s also true that the race was more difficult than in the past, because of the wind which stretched out the peloton.”

“We knew it would be tricky, so our goal was to come at the front with two kilometers to go and we did that. My teammates were excellent, and thanks to them, nobody could pass us. I started my sprint with around 200 meters to go and it wasn’t easy, but I gave my all and when Cavendish came around, I managed to keep my advantage. It’s my biggest win of the season and looking at the start list, which included almost all the top names of the game, it gives me even more confidence for my next races.”

Reactions from Mark Cavendish, Roger Hammond and André Greipel below:


Mark Cavendish
“Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did a great job for me today. Jay Thomson was controlling it from the beginning. When we hit the circuits the team made sure I was always in the best position at the decisive points. It was getting wet and windy at the end and we thought it might split near the finish but the guys did an incredible job to keep me up there obviously.”

“We wanted Reinie and Tyler there with me for the final but they had a job to do earlier on. At the end I had Tyler, and we talked about it before, if we didn’t have a team anymore then Tyler would make sure he was with me in case I had any trouble. I was a little bit late going actually, when I saw 150m I thought there was still 50 more meters so I thought I better go now”.

“I came with some good speed and when I came alongside Kittel I thought I had the better of him. When I was alongside him though he was just able to pull that little bit more out, it was something I was used to be able to do but not anymore. What can I say, it was Marcel Kittel that beat me so we can be happy with how the team rode. Obviously I am disappointed to not be able to finish their work off but we can take confidence from riding well together.

Roger Hammond – Sport Director: “It was a good race. The team rode really well and fought hard for Mark. The plan was to get him onto Kittel’s leadout and do the sprint from there. Mark said he just misjudged how far he was from the finish but it looked like he was coming back pretty well. I am pleased that the team was strong, they rode like a team and they rode from the front.”

André Greipel: “We knew for sure it would be a bunch sprint because a lot of teams participated with a strong sprinter. The initial plan was to give a small group some advantage, then Frederik Frison could control the gap together with a few riders of other teams.”

“After that it was important to be at the front of the peloton in the finale with as many riders as possible, because of the strong wind that wasn’t easy. We decided beforehand that we wanted to participate in the sprint. A victory would be fantastic but we also needed to be realistic. Due to a severe rib injury (which André incurred in Volta ao Algarve, LTS) the spring season got disturbed for me.”

“I was unable to do specific sprint trainings and I never had a great feeling on the bike. Today I just wanted to participate in the bunch sprint. Because of the tailwind in the final road to the finish line I’d planned to take the initiative. But then it became clear that I can’t compete with Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel at this moment.”

“I can’t complain about the way I did my sprint today, I’m very happy with this third place. Sunday I’ll participate in Paris-Roubaix, that’s always a special race. You can’t predict what will happen and I really look forward to this race. After that I’ll have a short rest period and then I’ll prepare myself for the Giro d’Italia. I know what to do, optimizing my sprint speed.”

1. Marcel Kittel, Etixx Quickstep
2. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data
3. Andre Greipel, Lotto Soudal

10. Dan McLay, Fortuneo
32. Jack Bauer, Cannondale
79. Scott Thwaites, Bora
91. Zak Demspter, Bora
113. Adam Blythe, Tinkoff
122. Luke Rowe, Sky
136. Andy Fenn, Sky




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