Merlier beat Philipsen at the Scheldt GP

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The Belgian Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick Step) prevailed on 112th edition of the Scheldt GP contested over 205.3 kilometers between Terneuzen and Schoten, where he won the fight against number one rival, his compatriot Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin).

Colorless in the sprint finish, Merlier (Wortegem Petegem, 31 years old) imposed the law of the strongest at the finish line, attacking from a distance and maintaining a few meters advantage enough to raise his arms in time 4. time .16.59, at an average of 47.9 km/hour.

Merlier clearly surpassed Jasper Philipsen, the winner of San Remo, and Dutchman Dylan Groenewegem (Jayco). It was the 41st victory in the Belgian’s record, and the seventh of the season.

The sprinters meet traditionally in the oldest race of all held in Flanders. The wind in the region of Zeeland, in Dutch territory, did not hinder their enthusiasm 5 men ran: Planckaert (Intermarche), Slock (Lotto-Dstny), Van Hemelen (Flanders-Baloise), Huens (TDT-Unibet) and Appel (Beat).

A project that has no chance of success due to the high quality and quantity of sprinters in the peloton. The responsibility of controlling the rebels fell to Merlier’s Soudal, Welsford’s Bora and Alpecin to the great favourite, Jasper Philipsen.

Along the Albert Canal, which was built to link the cities of Liege and Antwerp, the wind was blowing hard and the persecution was bearing fruit. The difference is clearly decreasing. With 30 km to go the breakaway was more than doomed, no matter how much the Belgian duo Planckaert and Slock wanted to fight.

He Van Unden’s DSM He joined by pulling into the lead to keep the escapees “in a bain-marie” and eventually roused them from sleep on the last lap of the Schoten circuit, a town near Antwerp. The sprint is being prepared, the tradition is about to be fulfilled.

Through the cobblestone area of ​​the Broekstraat, 1.7 km long, the peloton activates the arrival protocol. No arrival control, many candidates and few orders. Alpecin threw Philipsen from distance, but in the moment of truth the one who successfully launched was Merlier, who stunned from afar to appear peerless. He succeeded Philipsen, winner in 2023, on the list of winners.

Source: La Verdad

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