Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner) has won the GP de Wallonie in Belgium. He won a close-call sprint against Cédric Vasseur (Quick.Step - Innergetic), with Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) two seconds back in third. The race, 203 kilometres in length, was held between Chaudfontaine (near Liège) and Namur, in the eastern part of the country.
Dutchman Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner) was the first attacker of the day, soloing over the first three hellingen of the day. The stagiaire gained a maximum of around ten minutes, before the favourites turned on the steam.
Maarten Wynants of Quick.Step-Innergetic was the last one to gain a bit of advantage at the next to last climb, but in the end things were more or less together, with a 13-rider group slightly ahead of the rest when they reached the final at the citadel in Namur. Belgian De Waele just barely held off Vasseur.
"It may have been a millimetre sprint, but that doesn't take away from my triumph," the Belgian said after the race, still raging from the fact that he wasn't included in the Worlds selection. "I can't give a better answer to the [Belgian] cycling federation. They are making a big mistake by not taking me to Stuttgart," the winner said after the race.
His manager, Gérard Bulens, told Sporza he had similar thoughts. "That is a good revenge for the Worlds selection." The fact that noone of his team was selected added to the anger of Beulens. "I will not talk to the federation anymore."