Mark Cavendish joins Sam Bennett at Scheldeprijs 2021

The Belgian one-day race will be the first time the pair have raced together as team-mates

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish will be riding on the same team as Sam Bennett for the first time since rejoining  Deceuninck - Quick-Step in January this year at the sprinters semi-Classic Scheldeprijs.

Cavendish will be riding alongside the 'Wolfpack's' main men in the sprint train for Bennett with a team that could win the race with any one of their riders, as the race gets underway on Wednesday (April 7).

Bennett has started the season with five wins as well as an amazing performance at Ghent-Wevelgem, before he was dropped due after going deep on the cobbled climbs.

Cavendish has won Scheldeprijs three times in his career with the last being in 2011, but he will likely not get one closer to Marcel Kittel who won this race a record five times during his time racing.

The 'Manx Missile' will be hoping to guide Bennett to victory, but the best result the former Irish champion has had at the race is fifth back in 2014, only managing eighth in last year's edition.

He should have a lot of confidence though as he has taken his first one-day Classic in Belgium this year at the Oxyclean Brugge-De Panne Classic earlier in the season.

The usual suspects for Bennett's lead-out are in the team with his trusty last man of Michael Mørkøv along with Shane Archbald, Iljo Keisse, Florian Sénéchal and Bert Van Lerberghe.

British rider Cavendish has not quite managed to get a win in his return season with the team taking a couple of second places in sprints at smaller races.

Scheldeprijs is the last of the cobble-focused Classics with the race starting in the town of Terneuzen before taking on an almost pan-flat route, finishing 194.2km later in Schoten on the banks of the river Scheldt.

Defending champion Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) is not going to be taking to the start as the team instead focuses on German sprinter, John Degenkolb.

But while Bennett won't be coming up against his main rival Ewan, it doesn't mean he will have it all his own way as some of the world's fastest sprinters are down to ride.

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Cees Bol (DSM), Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and on-form Belgian Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) are just a few names that are likely to be up there.

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Scheldeprijs could have been one of the last races of Cavendish's career in 2020, as his contract with Bahrain-McLaren came to an end with no sign of a new contract in sight, before managed to get himself a new deal with Deceuninck - Quick-Step for at least this year.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.


Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.


When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.


He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.