The stars for Scheldeprijs (m): another duel between Philipsen and Merlier

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After the Tour of Flanders, it is the turn of the oldest Flemish race on the cycling calendar: the Scheldeprijs. Are the sprinters in charge again or will the weather gods decide differently this year? We list the favorites.

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Will we get a sprint between Jasper Philipsen and Tim Merlier on the Churchillaan in Schoten? Our experts certainly think so.

Philipsen skipped the Tour of Flanders to fully focus on Paris-Roubaix next Sunday. Does he still have the fast legs of Milan-San Remo and the Classic Brugge-De Panne?

The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider can continue his team’s triumphant march through the cycling season by winning the Scheldeprijs for the third time.

And what can Tim Merlier do? The winner of the Nokere race rode a solid Tour of Flanders and still has a bone to pick with Philipsen after the small incident during the sprint in De Panne.

At Soudal-Quick Step, a victory would be welcome after the disappointing results in this classic spring.

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We start the second line with Sam Welsford. The Australian from Bora-hansgrohe was second last year and third the year before. Can he grab the top jay this year? This season he only succeeded in the Tour Down Under.

Also among the contenders are numbers 2 and 3 from the Bredene Koksijde Classic: Dylan Groenewegen of Jayco-AlUla and Gerben Thijssen of Intermarché-Wanty.

Both fast men started the season strongly in Spain, Portugal and the Middle East, but have now been dry for a while.

Groenewegen did finish in the top 10 in Ghent-Wevelgem and Thijssen sprinted to second place in France last week. This might be a great opportunity to relaunch their season.

Finally, we are also looking forward to a trio of Dutch people. Arvid de Kleijn is the spearhead for Tudor, which has another issue in the fire with Matteo Trentin.

At 22 years old, Casper van Uden is the youngest in our list. He started the season well in Saudi Arabia but lagged behind a bit. There may be opportunities in this peloton for the sprinter from DSM-firmenich PostNL.

Danny Van Poppel is the second BORA rider to receive a star. Agreed, he is only the second man behind Welsford, but with a podium in Brugge-De Panne and a good Dwars door Vlaanderen, he is a formidable opponent if the sprint is disrupted.

We place Luca Mozzato in the third row. The 26-year-old Italian rode a fantastic Tour of Flanders, resulting in a brilliant second place. He already proved that the fast man from Arkéa-B&B Hotels is in top form by winning the Bredene Koksijde Classic.

And at UAE Team Emirates, Juan Sébastian Molano is the leader. The Colombian has not yet been able to show the form of last season this year, but may get a new chance in this Scheldeprijs.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: stars Scheldeprijs duel Philipsen Merlier

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