Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has endured a hit-and-miss campaign but with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) injured and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) ill, the big German sprinter ensured nothing would stand between him and a third consecutive Scheldeprijs victory.
As riders including Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) took the opportunity to clock some miles ahead of Paris-Roubaix, Kittel stormed to victory.
A powerful kick from the bunch meant the result never appeared in doubt from the moment the German launched his sprint.
And UCI WorldTour photographer Stefano Sirotti was on hand to capture all of the action. Relive the race in the full-screen gallery below.