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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

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet4:48:45
2Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
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 Team
8Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
9James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
10Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
11Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
12Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
13Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
14Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
15Evert Verbist (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
16Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
17Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
18Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp
19Mikhail Antonov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
20Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
21Michael Olsson (Swe) Team Cykelcity
22Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
23Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
24Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
25Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
26Kasper Jebjerg (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO
27Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Team Differdange -
28Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:01:06
29Remco Broers (Ned) Team Differdange -
30Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
31Gil Suray (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
32Julien Deschesne (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
33Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack
34Jimmi Sorensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO
35Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
36Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
37Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
38Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
39Jonathan Dewitte (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
40Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
41Sebastian Balck (Swe) Team Cykelcity
42Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly
43Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack
44Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
45Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
46Tom Stubbe (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
47Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
48Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:13
49Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
50Wesley Kreder (Ned) Rabobank Continental Team
51Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:01:15
52Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
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-Euskadi
68Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShack
69Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
70Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli
71Frank Dressler-Lehnhof (Ger) Team Differdange -
72Luc Hagenaars (Ned) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland
73Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly
74Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
75Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
76James Spragg (GBr) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
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 Netapp
82Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
83Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:09:39
84Kenny Terweduwe (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly0:10:22
85Ronan McLaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly
86Benoit Daeninck (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
87Daniel Westmattelmann (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland
88Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team Netapp
89Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
90Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
91Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
92Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
93Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi
94David Kopp (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland
95Alexander Gottfried (Ger) Team Netapp
96Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
97Michaël Vanderaerden (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
98Sander Helven (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
99Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli
100Christian Moberg Jörgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRO

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