With its flatter profile Gent-Wevelgem marks a rare opportunity in for the sprinters to shine in the Belgian Classics, although they’ll have to hang onto the coat tails of the classics men who will do what they can to get rid of them.
For many, it will also be the final indicator of form ahead of next Sunday's Tour of Flanders and there were plenty of big names on the start line in Deinze that we captured for this special start line gallery.
Fresh from his victory at E3 Harlebeke on Friday, defending champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is the hot favourite to do it again today. Tom Boonen will be the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team leader after Mark Cavendish pulled out due to illness. He will have the back up of Zdenek Stybar.
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was present and correct. The Swiss rider was dropped by Sagan on Friday and won’t want it to happen again. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) will be looking to get on the rostrum again, after he took second at Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier in the week. Pure sprinters such as Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Andrea Guardini (Astana) were also there, hoping to get a look in if it comes down to a bunch sprint.