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by Mark Zalewski
April 6, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel takes fifth Scheldeprijs win; De La Cruz solos to impressive stage win at Vuelta a Pais Vasco; Coquard wins second stage at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe, Dowsett takes TT and lead; Van Dijk, Pieters take wins on opening day of Healthy Ageing Tour; Steve Tilford, master of cycling disciplines, dies at 57 after traffic accident; UCI adopts new safety measures proposed by Professional Riders Council; Vanmarcke out for Paris-Roubaix; Van Avermaet turns focus to Paris-Roubaix; Cavendish out of Paris-Roubaix with ongoing ankle injury; Kittel confirms return to Tour of California; Distance cyclist Mark Beaumont aiming to cycle around the world in 80 days; Bicycle fabricated from recycled coffee pods; Zwift Stories – Mathew Hayman; Urban Freeride lives – Fabio Wibmer.
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) took out the win at the mid-week Classic Scheldeprijs, in a reduced field sprint following a late-race crash. Elia Viviani (Sky) and Nacer Bouhani (Cofidis) had to settle for second and third behind the now five-time champion.
“Coming back to this race, of course, I always have the pressure to win,” he said. “But I really like the fact that we come to this race…we are all concentrated. Also, Tom [Boonen] did a really good job. And I think as a reward we got this victory.
“It was an important day also because Tom rode for the last time in Belgium. He was incredible during the race, sacrificing himself for the team and for a good result, despite having his big goal of the season on Sunday. He showed again what a great rider he is and I’m happy to end my relationship with him in such a manner. I hope he will have reasons to smile after Paris-Roubaix, where I wish him all the best in his attempt to bring a fifth cobble-shaped trophy home”, said Marcel, who so far this season has racked up seven victories.”
The main break of the day was swept up well in advance of the field sprint, and nerves leading into it caused a massive pileup at 4km to go. While not going down in the crash, Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was slowed enough to take him out of contention.
While Sky hit the front into the final turn with a rider to work for Elia Viviani, Quick-Step Floors had the numbers advantage, with three riders on the Sky rider’s wheel. Matteo Trentin was the final leadout for Kittel, swinging off with 200 metres to go and nobody able to come around Kittel.