This Wednesday (April 5) will be the last occasion that Tom Boonen will start a pro race in his home country when he lines up at Scheldeprijs, four days before drawing the curtain on his career.
To mark his last Belgian race, the organisers which this year will be its 105th edition have decided that the peloton shall roll out from Mol, where the multiple Monument winner was born 36 years ago, and then go through Balen, the current residence of Boonen. On top of that, after the riders cover the 9.5 kilometres of the neutral zone, it will be none other than Tom’s grandfather who’ll drop the flag and signal the official start of the race.
A two-time winner of Scheldeprijs (2004 and 2006), Boonen will make his 12th appearance at Flanders’ oldest race, where Quick-Step Floors will send a powerful squad, whose goal will be to land the win at the end of the day.
Last season, Marcel Kittel notched his fourth victory here, one that gave him the outright record at the event, after a dominant team display and a perfect sprint in Schoten. Now, the German – who recently scored an emphatic win in Driedaagse De Panne–Koksijde – will have his sights on a second straight triumph in Belgium, and in his quest will count on a team also comprising Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Fabio Sabatini, Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin.
Quick Step Floors team for Scheldeprijs
Tom Boonen (BEL)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Davide Martinelli (ITA)
Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Matteo Trentin (ITA)