By Jeff Jones in Gent
After his impressively powerful ride to win Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen, Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) will line up at the start in Deinze for Wednesday's 67th Gent-Wevelgem as one of the top favourites. Boonen won this race comfortably last year, despite not being particularly good in the Ronde. 12 months on, he seems to be significantly stronger and if he has recovered from his efforts on Sunday, he and Quick.Step will be unbeatable.
Once again, the weather should play a significant role in this 208 km classic. Knowledgeable Belgian Het Nieuwsblad reporter Paul de Keyser told us on Sunday that it's almost a certain bet that the weather for the Ronde van Vlaanderen will be perfect, whereas De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem can often be wet and miserable. It looks to be the case again this year, as after the Ronde was blessed (or cursed, if you're a Belgian journalist) by 20 degree sunny temperatures and almost no wind, the weather changed for the worse on Monday, and is expected to continue in that vein throughout the week. The day of Gent-Wevelgem should be windy - particularly along the coast - and wet in the latter part of the day.
Click here for Cyclingnews' full Gent-Wevelgem preview.