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92nd Grote Scheldeprijs - Vlaanderen Updated
By Staff
Date: 4/14/2004
92nd Grote Scheldeprijs - Vlaanderen Updated

Belgian sensation Tom Boonen added another jewel to his early season palmares as he captured Wednesday's UCI-1.1 sanctioned contest (taking place over 200 km. between Antwerp and Schoten) on home soil. The former Postie was the fastest in a massive and hotly contested sprint (that stirred some polemics) ahead of Aussie Robbie McEwen and Italian sprinter Simone Cadamuro.

By winning this event, the Quick Step-Davitamon rider paid the best possible tribute to his (now former) teammate, the great Johan Museeuw, at his last race in the professional cycling ranks. The Lion leaves the asphalt, a new Lion appears. Or better: did appear allready. At the last race Museeuw would do it was Tom Boonen who for the third time this season outsprinted all and won. It though were two other Belgians who coloured the race. Both Nico Mattan and Andy Capelle decided to give it a try and took off. They fastly gained a gap of 8 minutes, untill the bunch decided enough was enough. Lotto-Domo and Quickstep joined forces and diminished the gap by the k. Soon Capelle gave in, Mattan decided his time had not come. It was Museeuw himself who placed his last attack in a real race and caught him. With widespreaded arms Mattan surrendered and gave in.

The bunches pace for a moment did slow down and it looked like Museeuw was allowed to another win. But and Lotto-Domo cooperated into a prepared massive sprint. In the sprint it was Boonen who outclassed the others. McEwen protested but instead of getting what he thought was his right, he got disqualified for irregular sprinting.

Warm and sunny Antwerp hosted the Scheldeprijs once again. When goodbye-saying Museeuw entered the podium, he got a huge applausse and tears in his eyes. His soigneur Dirk Nachtergaele admitted he knew Museeuw allready had said goodbye to racing himself after last Sundays Paris-Roubaix. This race was meant to be icing on the cake for those who had been supportering the Lion of Flanders during all his active years, on and off the bike, injured and winning.

The Lion has roared last, the new one is present allready.....

And seen from the Navigators point of view:
On pancake flat roads in the north of Belgium, near the city of Antwerp and the border with The Netherlands, the Lion Of Flanders: Johan Museeuw, made his swan song as a professional cyclist. With sunny skies and moderate temps, 200Km of racing and only 7 sections of pave, the king of the Classics had little opportunity to show his mettle. The fast racing action and the throngs of spectators surely made up for the lack of adverse conditions that he usually prefers.

Only 8Km into the race a group of 4 escaped the peloton that was riding at 65Km/hr toward the first section of pave, at Km-24. This race was certainly not going to be a parade in his honor. This escape was short-lived and was brought back into the fold within 5Km. Soon enough however, another small group of 3 attacked and headed into the pave about 40-seconds in front of the peloton. Once the first challenge of the day was behind them, the peloton settled into a long strung-out line of riders snaking their way through the many small towns of the region. About 75Km into the race, 2 riders separated themselves from the group and created the most significant action of the day.

Andy Cappelle (Chocolade Jacques) and Nico Mattan (Relax-Bodysol) took advantage of a lull in the speed ans set out on their own. By the time they had raced to the 110Km point, they had 8:00 on the group. Sensing the danger, the Quick-Step squad hit the front to begin the process of reeling the leaders back in. With the help of several other teams interested in a group sprint, the lead slowly came down, until it was just 3:15 when they reached the 3 finishing circuits of 17Km each. A large crash on the narrow roads stalled the chase.

Once order was restored, the pace quickened and Museeuw even found the legs to attack himself. Heading into the final lap, the entire peloton was back together but the battle of the sprinters' trains was just beginning. Over the final kilometers, it seemed that everyone in the race wanted to be at the front. In a crowd-thrilling finish that took the Commissaires several minutes to sort out, it was Quick-Step's Tom Boonen taking the win ahead of Robbie McEwan (Lotto-Domo) and Simone Cadamuro (DeNardi).

For the Navigators squad, the race went according to the plan, except for the final results. In an all-or-nothing day, the squad just didn't match the horsepower of the stronger teams in the final rush, and didn't place in the top-10. After a short rest, the squad now moves to Macon, and the Dodge Tour of Georgia, on April 19th.

In other racing news, Navigators' Viktor Rapinski will begin racing this week in his home country of Belarus, following a hard crash last month in France. Racing with his National Team, the short layoff isn't expected to interfere with his preparations for selection to the Athens Olympics, in August.

1. Tom Boonen (Bel - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - 04h19'00" (46.332 KPH)
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
3. Simone Cadamuro (Ita - De Nardi) - s.t.
4. Enrico Poitschke (Ger - Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
5. Bernhard Eisel (Aut - - s.t.
6. Alexandre Usov (Blr - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
7. Ludovic Capelle (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
8. Enrico Deganio (Ita - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - s.t.
9. Christoph Roodhooft (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
10. Roy Sentjens (Bel - Rabobank) - s.t.
11. Uros Murn (Slo - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
12. Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
13. Marcin Lewandowski (Pol - Action) - s.t.
14. Nicolas Inaudi (Fra - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
15. Stefan van Dijck (Hol - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
16. Yuri Mitlushenko (Ukr - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
17. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
18. René Obst (Ger - Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
19. Nacor Burgos (Spa - Relax-Bodysol) - s.t.
20. Adam Wadecki (Pol - Action) - s.t.
21. Sébastien Chavanel (Fra - Brioches La Boulangere) - s.t.
22. Kirk O'Bee (USA - Navigators) - s.t.
23. Jo Planckaert (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
24. Roger Hammond (GBr - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
25. Alessandro Vanotti (Ita - De Nardi) - s.t.
26. Erki Putsep (Est - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
27. Jans Koerts (Hol - Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf) - s.t.
28. Allan Bo Andresen (Den - Bankgiroloterij) - s.t.
29. James Vanlandschoot (Bel - Relax-Bodysol) - s.t.
30. Siro Camponogara (Ita - Navigators) - s.t.
31. Lars Michaelsen (Den - Team CSC) - s.t.
32. Mark Walters (Can - Navigators) - s.t.
33. Martin Elmiger (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
34. Steven Caethoven (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - s.t.
35. Remco van der Ven (Hol - Bankgiroloterij) - s.t.
36. Mark Scanlon (Irl - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
37. Maxime Monfort (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
38. Dennis Kraft (Ger - Action) - s.t.
39. Steven de Jongh (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
40. Andy Flickinger (Fra - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
41. Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den - Team CSC) - s.t.
42. Unai Yus (Spa - Brioches La Boulangere) - s.t.
43. Jeremy Hunt (GBr - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
44. Ciaran Power (Irl - Navigators) - s.t.
45. Bert Hiemstra (Hol - Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf) - s.t.
46. Rafael Nuritdinov (Uzb - De Nardi) - s.t.
47. Bobbie Traksel (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
48. Wesley Van Speybroeck (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - s.t.
49. Igor Abakoumov (Bel - Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf) - s.t.
50. Ralf Grabsch (Ger - Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
51. Michal Precechtel (Cze - eD'system - ZVVZ) - s.t.
52. Maxim Rudenko (Ukr - Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf) - s.t.
53. Stefano Zanini (Ita - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
54. Michel Van Haecke (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
55. Michele Gobbi (Ita - De Nardi) - s.t.
56. Wim De Vocht (Bel - Relax-Bodysol) - s.t.
57. Christian Pfannenberger (Aut - eD'system - ZVVZ) - s.t.
58. Johan Verstrepen (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
59. David Derepas (Fra - - s.t.
60. Jan Kuyckx (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - s.t.
61. Björn Leukemans (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
62. Wilfried Cretskens (Bel - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
63. Frank Schleck (Lux - Team CSC) - s.t.
64. Marc Streel (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
65. Henk Vogels (Aus - Navigators) - s.t.
66. Grégory Rast (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
67. Stefan Adamsson (Swe - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - s.t.
68. Chris Peers (Bel - Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf) - s.t.
69. Tristan Hoffman (Hol - Team CSC) - s.t.
70. Marco Bos (Hol - Bankgiroloterij) - s.t.
71. Mark Renshaw (Aus - - s.t.
72. Peter Wuyts (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
73. David McKenzie (Aus - Navigators) - s.t.
74. Mikahil Timochine (Uzb - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
75. Andy De Smet (Bel - Mr. Bookmaker-Palmans) - s.t.
76. Bert Roesems (Bel - Relax-Bodysol) - s.t.
77. Johan Museeuw (Bel - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
78. Thomas Voeckler (Fra - Brioches La Boulangere) - s.t.
79. Leif Hoste (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
80. Baden Cooke (Aus - - s.t.
81. Martin Müller (Ger - Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
82. Geert Van Bondt (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
83. Ronald Mutsaars (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
84. Leon van Bon (Hol - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
85. Thorwald Veneberg (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
86. Frank Hoj (Den - Team CSC) - s.t.
87. Jimmy Madsen (Den - Team CSC) - s.t.
88. Sebastian Siedler (Ger - Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
89. Koos Moerenhout (Hol - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
90. Kevin De Weert (Bel - Rabobank) - s.t.
91. Stéphane Berges (Fra - Ag2r-Prevoyance) - s.t.
92. Johan Vansummeren (Bel - Relax-Bodysol) - s.t.
93. Rony Martias (Fra - Brioches La Boulangere) - s.t.
94. Jan Valach (Svk - eD'system - ZVVZ) - s.t.
95. Ryan Cox (RSA - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - s.t.
96. Hans Dekkers (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
97. Nick Nuyens (Bel - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
98. Aart Vierhouten (Hol - Lotto-Domo) - at 15") -
99. Matthew Wilson (Aus - - at 15"
100. Thierry Marichal (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - at 15"
101. Nico Eeckhout (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - at 15"
102. Servais Knaven (Hol - Quick.Step-Davitamon)) - at 22"
103. Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - at 22"
104. Alexandre Naulleau (Fra - Brioches La Boulangere) - at 22"
105. Koen Barbé (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - at 26")
106. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - at 26"
107. Bogdan Bondariew (Ukr - Action) - at 26"
108. Geoffrey Demeyere (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - at 26"
109. Preben Van Hecke (Bel - Relax-Bodysol) - at 26"
110. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra - - at 26"
111. Devis Miorin (Ita - De Nardi) - at 26"
112. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - at 26"
113. Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel - Vlaanderen-T Interim) - at 26"
114. Julien Smink (Hol - Bankgiroloterij) - at 26"

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