UCI Europe Tour Antwerp Port Epic Antwerp (BE) Sunday September 8th 2019

Timothy Dupont wins Schaal Sels Merksem in a bunch sprint

Timothy Dupont wins Schaal Sels Merksem in a bunch sprint

Timothy Dupont won the 93rd edition of Schaal Sels Merksem on Sunday August 26th2018. The rider of Wanty-Groupe Gobert was in a bunch sprint faster than his teammate Alfdan De Decker. Christophe Noppe was the third man on the podium. It was immediately the first victory of the season for the thirty-year-old sprinter.

At 12u45 eleven teams started at the Bredabaan in Merksem, representing a concise peloton of 81 riders. The limited size of the group turned out to be an advantage: there were no considerable crashes and the average speed was high from the first kilometer till the arrival. It was Edward Planckaert, Gianni Vermeersch and the Norwegian Sondre Enger who did the first real attempt in the second round. The cyclocross rider had material problems and the two others were also caught up. The signal for a group of sixteen riders to make a leading group. Their attempt was also neutralized by Veranda's Willems-Crelan. With 51 kilometers to go, Benjamin Declercq, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Julien Mortier, Daniel Turek, Rob Ruijgh and Pawel Bernas accelerated. The latter proved his good shape two days earlier by a second place in the Great War Remembrance Race.

With one lap to go, at that moment the regrouping was almost there, Declercq accelerated again. His attempt ended at 12 kilometers before the finish line, a good moment for Ylber Sefa to escape. The Albanian champion held a handful of seconds ahead, which was mainly led  by Hilaire Van der Schueren's brigade. At four kilometers, Sefa’s advance even increased, but he was caught in the last 750 meters. A bunch sprint was inevitable. Timothy Dupont took the last corner in first position and was the fastest. His first attacker was Alfdan De Decker, a team mate. With Christophe Noppe, another young Belgian took the third place.

"I don't feel too good these pastt days. I have been racing for three days in a row and today was the last day that I took antibiotics after ilness. But in the bunch sprint my instinct came up and at that moment you forget all the pain from before", says the winner. "I certainly can not complain about my season. I perform very regularly and have been able to finish a difficult Tour. I finished top 10 for 25 times, but the victory was missing. Today we ensured that previous victory."

Surprise of the day was Alfdan De Decker. "In the final kilometer, I lost Timothy. I could still come back and just came in his wheel again. I wanted to cause a gap, but behind us there was already a small gap behind me. Thus I sprinted all in for the second place. I am very satisfied! This podium spot is extra nice because we are in my area. The finish is right before Sint-Eduardus, where I went to school. A few weeks ago, I had a lesser period but now my bode is back in perfect shape."

Schaal Sels Merksem 2018: top ten:

1

 Timothy DUPONT (BE)

Wanty-Groupe Gobert

4u10'50"

2

 Alfdan DE DECKER (BE)

Wanty-Groupe Gobert

zt

3

 Christophe NOPPE (BE)

Sport Vlaanderen - Balois...

zt

4

 Kenny DEHAES (BE)

WB Aqua Protect Veranclas...

zt

5

 Kevyn ISTA (BE)

WB Aqua Protect Veranclas...

zt

6

 David VAN DER POEL  (NL)

Corendon - Circus

zt

7

 Jelle CANT (BE)

Tarteletto-Isorex

zt

8

 Alexander GEUENS (BE)

Sovac-Natura4Ever

zt

9

 Frantisek SISR (Tsj)

CCC Sprandi Polkowice

zt

10

 Dries DE BONDT (BE)

Veranda's Willems-Crelan

zt

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