• Caleb Ewan celebrates after sprinting to victory at the Scheldeprijs in 2020 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Caleb Ewan has taken out the Scheldeprijs with a dominant sprint victory in a race marked by a dramatic crash at the finish.
Source:
SBS Cycling Central
15 Oct 2020 - 10:05 AM 

Lotto Soudal’s Australian sprinter was too good for German rider Pascal Ackerman of Bora Hansgrohe after he fired to the line to claim the win on his debut ride at the sprinter’s Classic in the Belgium.

Ackerman was later disqualified after his dive through the pack caused a major crash on the final sprint when he clipped the wheel of Riwal Securitas Rider August Jensen which made the Norwegian fall hard less than 100 metres from the finish.

Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) was promoted to second after the disqualification, while Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) was moved up to third.

Tour de France Green Jersey winner Sam Bennett of Deceuninck Quickstep came in eighth.

After the race an ecstatic Ewan said it was a special victory not just for him but also for his Belgian team

“It’s one of the biggest sprint Classics there is and I haven’t won a Classic of this level in Belgium before, so this is super nice,” he said.

“It’s important for me, to be honest, I think it’s more important for the team. We haven’t had a win in a Classics at this level for a long time, so they are going to be really happy.

"It’s my first time here and now my first win, so I’m super happy to have this on my palmares now."

The Aussie showed plenty of composure in the closing stages of the race waiting for his perfect moment to make a push to the line despite being left alone in the pack of sprinters.

“For me (the final kilometre) wasn’t too bad because I was up near the front the whole time and away from all the trouble," Ewan said.

"I just wanted to be up near the front, out of trouble, and that is what the team did for me.”

The race may have been legendary sprinter Mark Cavendish’s final event before retirement with the Bahrain McLaren rider finishing 143rd despite making a move during an early breakaway.

The Brit is determined to ride on in 2021 but is without a team.