While the peloton were treated to comparatively good February weather at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, the start of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday marked a return to cold, wet and windy conditions so often typical of the Classics season.
Despite the drizzle, race favourites Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) were amongst a number of riders eager to begin the 63rd edition of the Belgian event.
Cyclingnews was on hand to capture the scene as the peloton donned the rain capes and prepared to set off for the return journey between Kuurne and the Belgian capital.
Local fans flooded into Kuurne to see their heroes depart, hopeful that a Belgian might mount the podium upon their return in the afternoon. Juan Antonio Flecha's win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad led the first Belgian podium shut-out of that event.
Follow Cyclingnews' live coverage of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne to see whether the local riders can bounce back.