Juul-Jensen makes the break as crashes end Mitchelton-SCOTT’s chances in Scheldeprijs

Wed 14 Oct 2020

Slovenian sprinter Luka Mezgec was Mitchelton-SCOTT’s top finisher in a messy sprint finale as Chris Juul-Jensen spent the day in the breakaway at Scheldeprijs.

Mezgec was left to contest the finale after Australian sprinter Kaden Groves was caught behind a crash inside the final 3km, with another crash in the closing 300 metres then ruiling end the team's chances in Schoten.

In The Break
Despite several attempts, no breakaway was allowed to escape on the opening lap of 10, with a nine rider move eventually edging clear on lap two. Danish domestique Juul-Jensen was amongst the escapees as the group pressed on and pushed their advantage out to over one minute.

The peloton were keen to keep the attackers on a tight leash as the sprint teams controlled the tempo and they held the gap at around 1’30” for most of the day. The advantage was then under one minute with 60km and the bunch continued to chip away at deficit with various teams taking their turns on the front.

The pack were mindful of not bringing the break back too early and Juul-Jensen and the remains of the breakaway made it onto the final lap with a slender advantage. But tt was eventually all back together with 9km to go after one ride from the breakaway briefly went solo with a late attack.

Messy Finish
There was never a chance that the sprint teams would miss the opportunity to bring things back together for the usual bunch kick and a battle for position ensued as the kilometres ticked down. Mezgec and Groves moved into position as the peloton headed back into town, but a crash in the bunch separated the two.

That left Mezgec to contest the finale alone, but another crash in the dash for the line held the Slovenian up and the Tour of Poland stage winner was unable to open up his sprint, while Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) avoided the carnage to take the win.

Luka Mezgec:
"It was a relaxed day in the bunch with Chris in the break and the plan was to go for Kaden, so we made a good plan for the leadout, but a lot of guys got stuck behind the crash in the last 2km.

"Me and [Alexander] Konychev were there waiting for Kaden to come up in the last kilometre, but he never came and that was our day done really.

"It was a sketchy lap and as a team we got boxed out of position with 5km to go, that meant everyone had to move up by themselves, which is always risky to not be all together there in the final."

Scheldeprijs 2020 - Results:
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) 3:34:38
2. Niccolo Bonifazio (Team Total Direct Energie) ST
3. Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels - Vital Concepy p/b KTM) ST
27. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0"05

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.