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Startline Gallery: Scheldeprijs

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A dog is for life not just for a bike race

A dog is for life not just for a bike race
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Saxo Bank)

Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Kenny Robert van Hummel

Kenny Robert van Hummel
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Antwerp put on a show at the start

Antwerp put on a show at the start
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Gerard Vroomen made an appearance

Gerard Vroomen made an appearance
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Theo Boss (Rabobank)

Theo Boss (Rabobank)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda)

Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was the main attraction

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was the main attraction
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Flecha (Team Sky)

Flecha (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky)

Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Andreas Klier (Garmin) and Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky)

Andreas Klier (Garmin) and Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Mark Renshaw (Rabobank)

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan)

Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Home favourite Leif Hoste

Home favourite Leif Hoste
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Three amigos: Matteo Tosatto, Luca Paolini and Daniele Bennati

Three amigos: Matteo Tosatto, Luca Paolini and Daniele Bennati
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Europcar team

The Europcar team
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Romain Feillu

Romain Feillu
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The start line of Scheldeprijs 2012

The start line of Scheldeprijs 2012
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Garmin-Barracuda)

Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tyler Farrar and Jeremy Hunt

Tyler Farrar and Jeremy Hunt
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Classics man: Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Team Sky)

Classics man: Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep)

Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank)

Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Kasper Klostergaard Larsen's bike

Kasper Klostergaard Larsen's bike
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Fans point out their favourite bikes

Fans point out their favourite bikes
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A Sky rider's choice of gears

A Sky rider's choice of gears
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Garmin's Cervelo bikes on parade

Garmin's Cervelo bikes on parade
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Garmin's Cervelo bikes on parade

Garmin's Cervelo bikes on parade
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank)

Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan)

Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto)

Andre Greipel (Lotto)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep)

Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Geert Steegmans (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) signs on

Geert Steegmans (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) signs on
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The FDJ team with Guesdon

The FDJ team with Guesdon
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The FDJ-BigMat team

The FDJ-BigMat team
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A Lotto legs

A Lotto legs
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Huge crowds turned out for the start of the race

Huge crowds turned out for the start of the race
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's team

The Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's team
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan)

Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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# * 161 Jeremie Galland (Fra) * 162 Christophe Laborie (Fra) * 163 Laurent Mangel (Fra) * 164 Rony Martias (Fra) * 165 Jean- Paiani (Fra) * 166 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) * 167 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) * 168 Etienne Tortelier (Fra) # Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator's bikes

# * 161 Jeremie Galland (Fra) * 162 Christophe Laborie (Fra) * 163 Laurent Mangel (Fra) * 164 Rony Martias (Fra) * 165 Jean- Paiani (Fra) * 166 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) * 167 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) * 168 Etienne Tortelier (Fra) # Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator's bikes
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)

Sandwiched in between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, Scheldeprijs is an opportunity for the sprinters to strut their stuff before the action returns to the more testing cobbles of the Classics.

The race is certainly not as glamorous or exciting as Flanders or Roubaix but its status is steeped in history that runs back to 1907. With an illustrious winners list that includes Alberic Schotte, Rik Van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck, Eddy Merckx and Mark Cavendish, it is a race any sprinter values on the palmares.

While Sunday’s Flanders was raced under bright skies, today’s start in Antwerp had a decidedly chilly feel to it. Ahead of the riders was 202 kilometres of relatively flat terrain and with Mark Cavendish absent, due to the birth of his first child, the race is wide open.

2010 winner Tyler Farrar and Tom Boonen (2004, 2006) are the only previous winners on the start list but with Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) and Andre Greipel (Lotto) present, it promises to be a thrilling finale.