Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won the 100th Scheldeprijs semi-classic Wednesday in a bunch sprint over Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) and Theo Bos (Rabobank). The sprint unfolded under horrid, rainy conditions after a number of crashes marked the race.
“For me this race was the first big objective of 2012, it’s a very important race for a sprinter,” said Kittel. “We had a plan to go for a win, it was very nice it worked out well. You never know with this race, there’s always crashes in this final. The rain also made it difficult, you need good a good position.”
The win was the first since the Dutch Project 1t4i squad took the name of North Sea oil firm Argos last Friday.
Tour of Flanders winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) played the race, which has a reputation for dangerous finales, safe.
“I took it easy in thre first part of the race,” said Boonen. “Then I worked for the team but when it began to rain, I went in the back of the peloton to avoid problems. I didn’t take risks even in the final because with the rain it was dangerous. The road was really silppery. I’m happy about my day.”
Boonen’s teammate Francesco Chicchi was among the riders caught up behind a crash inside the final two kilometers.
“I had to ride on the grass on the side of the road to avoid the riders lying on the ground,” Chicchi said. “Pity, I lost a good chance.”