The start of E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke was awash with colour on Saturday morning as some of cycling’s elite descended on the sleepy Belgian town. Click here for a gallery of images.
The riders were greeted with perfect spring-time weather, with just a few clouds hovering overhead. The peloton face a 210 kilometre slog, with 12 short but steep climbs before the finish back in Harelbeke.
However one rider who didn’t take the start was Thor Hushovd (Cervelo). The Norwegian pulled out through illness.
The race still contains most of the Classics stars with four-time winner Tom Boonen looking for revenge over Katusha's Filippo Pozzato, who beat him in a thrilling finish here last year.