Surprises in the new style Schelderprijs, time trial dominance at the Healthy Ageing Tour and a scrappy-do of a sprint finish at Itzulia.
Schelderprijs: Terneuzen to Schoten, 2004km
Quick Step Floor’s winning streak marches on with Fabio Jakobsen taking the sprint finish in Schoten to add to his Nokere Koerse victory last month.. The young Dutchman won it handily after the usual smooth work from his team on the run to the line. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Chris Lawless (Sky) rounded out the podium.
This race is a sprint fest. Taking nothing away from the Quicksteppers it’s fair to say these names were not the ones most people expected to see at the top of the result sheet.
There were incidents and accidents.
Five time winner Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) suffered a series of unfortunate mechanicals – a late puncture being the final straw.
Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) were amongst a group of 35 riders quite rightly disqualified for jumping a railway level crossing as the barriers were closing.
The rules around level crossings were tightened up and clarified after the incident at Paris Roubaix in 2014. If you go through when the red light is flashing there will be consequences – the least of which will arrive from the race commissaires. No excuses are accepted, some riders’s reactions were more considered than others.
Full race report at Cycling News
Healthy Ageing Tour Stage 1: Heerenveen to Heerenveen, ITT, 8km
Anna van der Breggan laid the power down along the streets of Heerenveen to take victory from Boels-Dolmans teammate Chantal Blaak by 2secs – despite a mechanical mishap with her TT bars 3km from the finish. Wiggle High5’s Lisa Brennauer took the third step of the podium. With 4 riders in a top 10 covered by 29secs and a team time trial to come the Dutch team must be confident going into the next 4 stages.
I couldn’t find a video, but every stage is streamed live on the race website
All the jerseys on the podium. Yellow for race leader, green for points competition, red for most aggressive rider, orange for sprint classification, white for best young rider, blue for best club rider (see below)
Dutch team SwaboLadies NL had their eyes set on the blue jersey for best club rider and Amber van der Hulst brought it home.
Best description of a time trial effort…
Full results at Cycling News
Itzulia Basque Country Stage 3: Bermeo to Valdegovía, 184.8km
Jay McCarthy (BORA-hansgrohe) pounced in the final metres of scrappy bunch sprint finish to grab his second victory of 2018. UAE Emirates’ neo-pro Alexandr Riabushenko got up for second with Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) easing in to take third. There was no change on GC, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) still holds an 8sec advantage.
The eight man break-of-the-day included Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) who captured the king of mountains jersey – what ever else?Last man standing from the original break was Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) who was only reeled in with 2.5km to go after being joined by Sky duo Kwiatkowski and David De La Cruz.
It’s always special to ride in your home race…
Full race report at Cycling News
Header image: Fabio Jakobsen – Tim de Waele/Getty Images