The German sprinter beat Elia Viviani to the line in Schoten

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) won his fifth Scheldeprijs title in the sprint finish to the 2017 edition, beating Elia Viviani (Sky) and Nacer Bohanni (Cofidis) to second and third respectively.

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Kittel sprinted to the line with relative ease ahead of his rivals, after being dropped off on the left hand side of the road by his Quick-Step teammate Matteo Trentin.

The German, who took a record fourth win in the Belgian one-day race in 2016 by beating Mark Cavendish, opened up his sprint first and never looked like he was going to be overtaken, as Viviani clung on behind him and Bouhanni attempted to come round the right hand side.

Kittel had a sufficient enough gap to sit up just before the line and celebrate another win at Scheldeprijs.

There was double celebration for the Quick-Step team, with Classics great Tom Boonen competing in his penultimate race of his career and his last in Belgium. Boonen put in big pulls in the final few kilometres to help Kittel to the victory.

The day’s racing stuck to the usual formula that Scheldeprijs produces, with a sizeable break being allowed a short way up the road on the 202km course from Mol.

Pim Ligthart (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Marco Mathis (Katusha-Alpecin), Christophe Premont (Verandas Willems-Crelan), Stijn Steels (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Julien Stassen (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier-Triestina) established a maximum gap of 3-30 before the peloton organised themselves and began to drag them back.

Ligthart and Zhupa were the final two riders to hold on, as they were finally caught with 16.8km to go.

The narrow twisting roads into the finish of the race is often the scene of crashes, and this year was no different with a huge crash taking place on the left rear side of the peloton and significantly reducing the size of the bunch into the finish.

Sky, Cofidis, Bora and Quick-Step were all safely towards the front of affairs and avoided the trouble, allowing their sprinters to duel it out with Kittel coming out on top once again.

Result

Scheldeprijs 2017 (202km)

1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
4 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Rudy Barbier (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
7 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
8 Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
9 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb
10 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis