Marcel Kittel (Quickstep-Floors) went and won his 5th Scheldeprijs title when he sprinted to the victory in Schoten today. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) was the rider placed in 2nd and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) picked up the final podium position. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Reinardt Janse van Rensburg sprint to 7th.
The 105th edition of the Scheldeprijs brought about very few surprises with another bunch sprint deciding the race outcome. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were looking to head into the finale of the race with numbers at the head of the peloton and at the 10km to go mark, our African Team was looking good to deliver Mark Renshaw to the line.
Tyler Farrar was doing a sterling job positioning our train up at the front of the peloton while Quickstep and Katusha controlled affairs. Bernie Eisel, Scott Thwaites and Ryan Gibbons were all right there as well, later joined by Youcef Reguigui too and they were all looking after the interests of Renshaw and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
It was a big fight for position on the short cobbled road just before the finish and this resulted in a big crash taking place near the front of the bunch. Team Dimenson Data for Qhubeka had 3 riders go down (no serious injuries to report) including our protected sprinter for the day, Renshaw. Janse van Rensburg got through the crash unscathed and so he fast became our plan B for the finale.
Our South African Champion who had lost position at the moment of the crash, had done well to come back into the top 20 positions just before the final kilometer started. As Quickstep led out the sprint, Janse van Rensburg showed an impressive turn of speed, coming from deep and exposed to the wind, into the first 5 places just before the likes of Kittel and Viviani jumped out of the saddle. The big effort to get back to the front took a bit of the sting out of Janse van Rensburg’s sprint and he had to settle for 7th place at the line. A strong ride nonetheless and a solid top 10 result for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
It turned out to be a pretty straight forward Scheldeprijs this year, but unfortunately there was a crash at 4km to go which took out Youcef, Jay and our protected rider Mark Renshaw. The plan changed so that I would sprint. I managed to get myself into a pretty good position but I made a mistake at 1km to go and that cost me some crucial positions. I had to start my sprint from very far back. I had really good legs in the sprint but I am very disappointed that I wasn’t in a better position as I felt more was possible for me today.