The city of Antwerp and the site of the MAS will not act this year as a starting place for the Scheldtprijs. That honor falls this year on April 5th, exceptional Mol to turn, as the organizers holding a tribute to Tom Boonen.
Tom Boonen will take the start in Paris-Roubaix in 2017 just before retirement from professional cycling peloton. Boonen won Scheldtprijs in 2004 and in 2006, that he was the last rider in the rainbow jersey as first passed the finish in Schoten.
"A new start site course means a new course," said chairman Peter De Smet in Schoten on the presentation of the 105th edition. "The start this year on the Round Square in Mol. Through Bales we then begin a tour through the Kempen. After good 50 km of the course we pass again the home of Tom Boonen. Then we pass Tielen, after 108 kilometers, again our familiar path. After 152 kilometers is our big loop out and we start on the Churchill Shots to the three local laps of 16.8 kilometers each."
Piet De Smet, organizer of the Scheldtprijs, came along with a friend on the idea of giving the start in Balen.”Tom Boonen himself gave preference to Mol, but he was obviously very pleasantly surprised by our proposal. We found this a nice tribute to Tom,” says De Smet.
Mol local lap is driven in Tielen and make the riders likely connection to the fixed route. The fixed route will simply maintain the finish and thus still on Churchill Avenue.
Last year already took the organizers of the Scheldtprijs extensive security measures. The arrival site was overhauled, giving the fact that the home straight was shortened to 800 meters and the number of participants was reduced sensitive. No more than 200 riders in the Scheldtprijs and that is the case also in 2017.
"We have to held the number of teams in our 105th edition at 21. Of course, the offer increases, but we want to work further on the safety. Our arrival zone was in progress packed so that it will normally make less dangerous the final sprint, "said De Smet. "We have managed to snare fourteen WorldTour teams. That number is supplemented by seven procontinentale teams. AG2R-La Mondiale , Astana , Bahrain Merida , Bora-Hansgrohe , Cannondale Drapac , FDJ , Lotto Soudal , Quick-Step Floors , Dimension data , Katusha Alpecin , LottoNL-Jumbo , sky , Sunweb and Trek Segafredo promised us a strong team to come down to Mol."
Last year's winner of the Scheldtprijs was won for the fourth time by Germany’s Marcel Kittel . He became absolute record holder. Kittel previously triumphed in 2012, 2013 and 2014.