Scheirlinckx slays the Dragon

36-year-old Bert Scheirlinckx (Landbouwkrediet) scored his first victory since 2008 in the GP Pino Cerami today, topping Vacansoleil's Marco Marcato in a two-man sprint.

"This is without doubt the most beautiful victory of my career," said Scheirlinckx. "And good revenge for the Tour of Flanders. Sunday I was very disappointed because I made a tactical error on the Muur and did not make the front group. And I really had the legs for it! Well, today I proved that I was capable of a top 10 in the Ronde."

Scheirlinckx credited long hours of training with his younger brother Staf for giving him a second wind in his career. "It's now bearing fruit. This sort of event suits me perfectly and I am glad that the puzzle pieces finally fell in place. The past year I have been on the podium, but winning was so difficult. Third in Frankfurt, most recently second in the Classic Loire Atlantique ... I had enough of them over time. This victory makes me very happy, and for my Landbouwkrediet team it is a serious boost."

Vacansoleil team manager Hilaire Van Der Schueren was disappointed to miss out on the win. "Marco was the best and I don't understand how this has happened, he should be faster than Scheirlinckx, it is a pity."

Hermans, on the other hand, was happy to get back onto the podium after being sick. "I'm not complaining. This is my first race in three weeks. I got sick after Tirreno-Adriatico and had to skip races. At the end I had cramps, which is a bit logical. Good for my morale anyway. My first goal of the season is Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I really look forward to these races."

The 199.2 kilometre event was more like two races in one. The first was a battle for the climber's classification, with three mountain sprints on a single 132km loop in Belgium's Wallonian region, and that was followed by three local circuits ending in Frameries outside Mons that had a real sting in the tail, with the cobbled Tienne du Dragon climb and a 400m sector of pavé on the Rude des Fachelles.

With plenty of riders keen to get away for the primes, there were a number of attacks in the first half hour of racing, with no group able to break the elastic.

It wasn't until 30km in that a group of six were finally given an advantage: Fumiyuki Beppu (Radioshack), Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Dimitri Claeys (Team NetApp), Francesco Di Paolo (Aqua e Sapone), Alexander Schmitt (Eddy Merckx - Indeland) and Kevin Lalouette (Roubaix - Lille Metropole).

The Hameau des Papins, Hurdumont and Mont Elsa came in quick succession after 44 kilometres, and it was the Frenchman Cazaux who claimed the mountain prize by winning the first two and coming second to Beppu at the third while the peloton kept a steady gap of just under four minutes.

Once the hills were behind them, the lead for the six men ballooned to a maximum 7:25, but that advantage fell rapidly as the race headed toward the three local circuits.

The gap was hovering just under one minute on the first trip up the Tienne du Dragon, and Cazaux played his last card with a solo attack, leaving his five companions to be gobbled up by the peloton.

The pavé caused a number of splits in the peloton and spelled the end to Cazaux's time out front. At the end a select lead group was formed with 40km to go.

That group contained Ben Hermans (Radioshack), Marco Marcato and Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil), Steven Caethoven (Willems Verandas) Alessandro Donati (Acqua e Sapone), Wesley Kreder (Rabobank Continental), Frederic Amorison and Bert Scheirlinckx (Landbouwkrediet), Anthony Delaplace (Saur Sojasun), Boy Van Poppel (United Healthcare) and Anthony Colin (Roubaix).

The Tienne du Dragon split the front group again on the second trip, with four riders in the lead, Hermans, Marcato, Scheirlinckx and Donati, while Dalaplace made an heroic effort to rejoin the leaders.

The five maintained a 40 second lead heading into the final ascent, where Donati and Dalaplace were dropped.

The remaining three pulled out nearly a minute on the peloton heading into the final five kilometres. The cooperation ended just before the red kite, as Scheirlincks put in a strong attack that jettisoned Hermans.

Marcato made the juncture, however, but failed to best the Belgian in the uphill drag to the line.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet4:48:45
2Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack0:00:10
4Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:36
5Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:00:54
6Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:00:59
7Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 7 - Cell 2
9James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 8 - Cell 2
10Bert De Waele (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit AgricoleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 11 - Cell 2
13Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 12 - Cell 2
14Geert Verheyen (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 13 - Cell 2
15Evert Verbist (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 14 - Cell 2
16Davy Commeyne (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 15 - Cell 2
17Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetappRow 17 - Cell 2
19Mikhail Antonov (Rus) Itera - KatushaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 19 - Cell 2
21Michael Olsson (Swe) Team CykelcityRow 20 - Cell 2
22Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit AgricoleRow 21 - Cell 2
23Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 22 - Cell 2
24Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 23 - Cell 2
25Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 24 - Cell 2
26Kasper Jebjerg (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 25 - Cell 2
27Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.deRow 26 - Cell 2
28Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:01:06
29Remco Broers (Ned) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.deRow 28 - Cell 2
30Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 29 - Cell 2
31Gil Suray (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental WallonRow 30 - Cell 2
32Julien Deschesne (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental WallonRow 31 - Cell 2
33Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShackRow 32 - Cell 2
34Jimmi Sorensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 33 - Cell 2
35Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental WallonRow 34 - Cell 2
36Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 35 - Cell 2
37Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit AgricoleRow 36 - Cell 2
38Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jonathan Dewitte (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit AgricoleRow 38 - Cell 2
40Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 39 - Cell 2
41Sebastian Balck (Swe) Team CykelcityRow 40 - Cell 2
42Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 41 - Cell 2
43Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShackRow 42 - Cell 2
44Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 43 - Cell 2
45Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 44 - Cell 2
46Tom Stubbe (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 46 - Cell 2
48Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:13
49Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 48 - Cell 2
50Wesley Kreder (Ned) Rabobank Continental TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:01:15
52Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jesse Sergent (NZl) Team RadioShack0:01:18
54Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:01:20
55Stefan Cohnen (Ned) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de0:01:24
56Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:31
57Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:01:40
58Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:01:42
59Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:45
60Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Rabobank Continental Team0:01:54
61Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:13
62Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Rabobank Continental Team0:02:20
63Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:24
64Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:03:56
65Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:27
66Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:06:04
67Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 66 - Cell 2
68Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShackRow 67 - Cell 2
69Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 69 - Cell 2
71Frank Dressler-Lehnhof (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.deRow 70 - Cell 2
72Luc Hagenaars (Ned) Team Eddy Merckx - IndelandRow 71 - Cell 2
73Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean KellyRow 72 - Cell 2
74Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 74 - Cell 2
76James Spragg (GBr) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 75 - Cell 2
77Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:06:17
78Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon0:06:29
79Benoît Naert (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon0:06:37
80Tom Vermeer (Ned) Colba - Mercury0:07:45
81Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetappRow 80 - Cell 2
82Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 81 - Cell 2
83Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:09:39
84Kenny Terweduwe (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly0:10:22
85Ronan McLaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean KellyRow 84 - Cell 2
86Benoit Daeninck (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 85 - Cell 2
87Daniel Westmattelmann (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - IndelandRow 86 - Cell 2
88Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team NetappRow 87 - Cell 2
89Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 88 - Cell 2
90Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental WallonRow 89 - Cell 2
91Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit AgricoleRow 90 - Cell 2
92Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 91 - Cell 2
93Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 92 - Cell 2
94David Kopp (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - IndelandRow 93 - Cell 2
95Alexander Gottfried (Ger) Team NetappRow 94 - Cell 2
96Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 95 - Cell 2
97Michaël Vanderaerden (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 96 - Cell 2
98Sander Helven (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly BellyRow 97 - Cell 2
99Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 98 - Cell 2
100Christian Moberg Jörgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 99 - Cell 2

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