Sprinters and fans are back in force for the Scheldt 2022


Sprinters and fans will be in their true element in the 2022 Scheldt on Wednesday, as the delay to Paris-Roubaix will increase the sprinters’ already high chances of success in the midweek Classic, and after a two-year gap, the fans will be back. the roadsides of Scheldeprijs also.

In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 induced restrictions meant that fans were not allowed to watch the race from the side of the road. But in 2022, there will be no such measures in place.

The Belgian Classic final, now in its 110th edition, is unlikely to change dramatically, however, with the sprinters out in force a year from now, once again, for one of the flattest one-day races of the calendar.

Seemingly destined to end in a sprint, the exposed roads, the cobbled sections, some technical passages and passages along stretches of the Belgian coastline, not to mention the perennial threat of very bad weather, mean that the leading group can be reduced to as little as possible. two or three dozen horsemen. Last year, more than half the field gave up. Indeed, the last real mass dash for Scheldeprij’s victory was in 2013, for record holder Marcel Kittel.

As two-time Scheldeprijs champion in April, Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) has a great opportunity to close in on Kittel’s total of five wins and draw with teammate Mark Cavendish and Belgium’s Petrus Oellibrandt, at three apiece .

However, Alpecin-Fenix ​​look set to provide tough opposition in the sprint, as Tim Merlier and defending champion and team-mate Jasper Philipsen are both expected to take part. Danny Van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe), Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), Nacer Bouhanni and Dan McLay (Arkéa-Samsic) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) will also have options.

Israel-Premier Tech having wisely decided not to participate in the event due to two recent cases of COVID-19, the number of WorldTour teams drops to 10.

Under normal circumstances, Scheldeprijs would be used as a warm-up event for Paris-Roubaix by some Classics stars. But this time around, the Scheldeprijs range will be geared more towards specialist sprinters, although former winner Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), apparently as at home in a group gallop as on the pavement, participates to that. Former Roubaix vice-champion Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) is also on the starting grid at Terneuzen in Holland.

With more than half of the race taking place in the Dutch coastal region of Zeeland, then a passage along the Scheldt, the Scheldt is only four kilometers longer than the 194 km of the 2021 edition. has its finish line again in the town of Shoten, and a recent agreement established that the race will continue to finish in the suburbs of Antwerp until 2025. And the sprinters in the peloton will certainly not be unhappy about this .


Comments are closed.