Fabio Jakobsen pounces to take the biggest win of his career at Scheldeprijs on a miserably rainy day.

On a miserably rainy day marked by a high-profile disqualification and troubles for defending champ Marcel Kittel, Fabio Jakobsen pounced to take the biggest win of his career Wednesday at Scheldeprijs.

The Quick-Step neo-pro was followed home by Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Chris Lawless (Team Sky), who were second and third, respectively.

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The drama began early at Scheldeprijs as crosswinds broke up the peloton and a group of favorites went over a railroad crossing as the crossing arms were lowering. This led the race jury to disqualify around 35 riders including top sprinters Arnaud Démare and Dylan Groenewegen.

As the race entered the final circuits around Schoten, Belgium, Sky’s Owain Doull and Groupama-FDJ’s Antoine Duchesne were off the front with a slight advantage.

Around that time, Kittel’s troubles began. He dropped back to the team car twice with technical troubles. The second issue came with just 13km to go. He was accompanied by his Katusha-Alpecin teammates but couldn’t mount a chase back through the caravan to rejoin the peloton.

“Very disappointing,” Kittel said. “As a team, we did a really good job. We were with seven guys in the group of 30 guys when the race really got hot. At 100 kilometers, Tony got a puncture, so that was unlucky. I also kept getting punctures so that was even more unlucky. But yeah, what can you do about it? It is what it is.”

With Kittel gone, Quick-Step Floors took up the lead-out at the front of the race. Czech champion Zdenek Stybar led the peloton into the final kilometer.

For a moment, with about 500 meters to go, it appeared that Lotto-Soudal had the upper hand in the sprint. However, Jakobsen managed to thread the needle past Ackermann on the left side, even though he appeared to be boxed in.

“In the sprint, I was blocked on the left side, and nearly crashed once. But I think this second place was the maximum after a tough day racing in crosswinds,” said Ackermann.

The 21-year-old took the sprint by a couple bike lengths, his second UCI victory of the season after winning Nokere Koerse in March.

“I think it’s because we start winning and everybody believes in it,” Jakobsen said of the team effort. “We always go for one guy full gas and I think that is the strength of the pack.”

Dane Cash contributed to this report from Schoten, Belgium.