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Gallery: On the start line at the Tour of Flanders

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Peter Sagan's bike for the Tour of Flanders

Peter Sagan's bike for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Niccolò Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida)

Niccolò Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Peter Sagan (Tinkov Saxo)

Peter Sagan (Tinkov Saxo)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The new Team Sky Pinarello bike

The new Team Sky Pinarello bike
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Ian Stannard (Team Sky)

Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Thomas and Degenkolb on the start podium

Thomas and Degenkolb on the start podium
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Matteo Trentin (Ita)

Matteo Trentin (Ita)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx QuickStep)

Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx QuickStep)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Sep Vanmarcke's Bianchi bike for the Tour of Flanders

Sep Vanmarcke's Bianchi bike for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Sep Vanmarcke's stem for the Tour of Flanders

Sep Vanmarcke's stem for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre Merida)

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre Merida)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Daniel Oss (BMC Racing)

Daniel Oss (BMC Racing)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Lars Boom (Astana)

Lars Boom (Astana)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Gerald Ciolek (MTN - Qhubeka)

Gerald Ciolek (MTN - Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge)

Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Cadel Evans

Cadel Evans
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Heinrich Haussler

Heinrich Haussler
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Last minute prep for Kristoff's race bike

Last minute prep for Kristoff's race bike
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Bikes with cameras fitted on them

Bikes with cameras fitted on them
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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MTN Qhubeka head to the start

MTN Qhubeka head to the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)

Some welcome sunshine greeted the riders in Brugge this morning for the start of the 2015 Tour of Flanders.

In the absence of Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, it was Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) that received the biggest cheers of the day as they took to the stage. Van Avermaet’s former teammate Cadel Evans was present at the start, waiting outside the team bus as the riders prepared for the day ahead.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was another fan favourite after his recent performances made him a firm favourite for the race victory. Also receiving huge welcome were Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep)and recent Milan-San Remo winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin).

With the two riders that have dominated this competition in the past out through injury, the 2015 Tour of Flanders is set to be the most open in recent history.