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E3 BinckBank Classic - Facts and figures

Sagan, Kwiatkowski and Stannard on the E3 Harelbeke podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

It's gone by several different names, this year by 'postponed': the E3 BinckBank Classic would have been held today had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic. 

Formerly known as E3 Harelbeke, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Harelbeke–Antwerp–Harelbeke, the cobbled classic joined the WorldTour in 2012 but has long since been part of the ever increasing cycling fervor in Belgium, leading up to the Tour of Flanders. Cyclingnews looked at the facts and figures of last 21 years of the event in lieu of the actual race.

The E3 Prijs is typically around 205km, give or take 5km, and is usually a quick one despite there being a dozen or more 'hellingen' - the short, steep often cobbled climbs of Flanders - peppered along the route. In 2012, the race moved to include the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen after the climb was excluded from the Tour of Flanders in favour of a more localized finishing circuit near Oudenaarde.

The race is organised independently of the other major Classics players, Flanders Classics and the ASO, and often makes a splash with controversial publicity posters. The organisers hinted at adding a women's race in 2018 but whilst most of the other Spring Classics have a race for women, E3 have not added one yet.

Did you know? The E3 in the race's name comes after the highway historically used on the course, but that road has since been renamed E17.

Most successful rider

HARELBEKE BELGIUM Belgian Tom Boonen Quick Steep celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 47th E3 Grand Prixs sprint race in front of Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu AG2R and Lithuanias Andris Nauduzs Domina Vacanze 27 March 2004 in Harelbeke AFP PHOTOBELGAYVES BOUCAU Photo credit should read YVES BOUCAUAFP via Getty Images

The 2004 E3 Harelbeke launched Tom Boonen into one-day race fame (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Tom Boonen is by far the most successful rider of the past 21 years, winning the race five times and landing on the podium seven times total.

Not only does Boonen hold the most race victories, he also holds the most podium finishes of the last 21 years and is the most consistent top 20 finisher.

Stijn Devolder has finished the race the most times, completing the E3 17 times.

Most successful ranking
Pos.RiderFinishes in top 20Median placing
1Tom Boonen 132
2Andrei Tchmil 32
3Geraint Thomas 43.5
4Fabian Cancellara 94
5Oliver Naesen 34
6Sep Vanmarcke 86
7Jasper Stuyven 36
8Jo Planckaert 46.5
9Gabriele Balducci 47
10Philippe Gilbert 57

Most wins
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Boonen 5
2Fabian Cancellara 3

Most finishes
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stijn Devolder 17
2Tom Boonen 13
3Andreas Klier 12
4Leif Hoste 12
5Greg Van Avermaet 11
6Niki Terpstra 11
7Stijn Vandenbergh 11
8Heinrich Haussler 10
9Bernhard Eisel 10
10Matteo Tosatto 10

Bubble boy

Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First)

Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Sep Vanmarcke is the unluckiest rider of the E3 Prijs, finishing inside the top 10 six times without ever taking the win. His highest finish was fourth in 2011 when he missed out on the final podium spot in a four-way sprint behind winner Fabian Cancellara.

Fastest edition

The fastest edition was in 2003 when the race was won by Steven de Jongh. The Dutchman got away on the Kluisbergen with Steffen Wesemann (Telekom) and a young Stijn Devolder (Vlaanderen-T Interim) with 27km to go. With Quickstep having missed the move, the chase came down to Johan Museeuw, still returning from his knee injury, but the trio stayed clear and De Jongh sailed to the victory.

Slowest edition

Filippo Pozzato snatches the win in 2009 E3 Harelbeke ahead of Tom Boonen (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The 2009 edition was a real hard-man's race, with heavy winds, cold rain and some hail punishing riders along the route. Boonen forged a critical split on the Taaienberg with 56km to go, pulling away a group of favourites that swept up the early breakaway. Boonen attacked again with Pozzato and Maxim Iglinsky heading into 20km to go and the move stuck. The Belgian was in prime position behind Pozzato coming into the final kilometre but Pozzato jumped early and managed to hold off his rivals to take the win.

Oldest winner

Cycling E3 Prijs Harelbeke TchmilAndrei Photo by Tim De WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Andrei Tchmil was 38 when he won what was then called the GP E3 Harelbeke in 2001, making the selection on the Oude Kwaremont with 40km to go before putting in his winning move on the Tiegemberg inside 20km to go.

Youngest winner

Tom Boonen was a spry 24 years old when he claimed the race for the first time in 2004, although he had already earned the status of team leader. The victory was the start of his storied career in the Classics, one that would ultimately include four Paris-Roubaix, three Tour of Flanders, three Gent-Wevelgem wins and the world title.

Race visualization

Select the year to see a visual representation of where riders finished the race by final average speed.