Gallery: On the startline at E3 Harelbeke

Many of the big names return to racing at E3 Harelbeke this Friday, after taking a short break following Milan-San Remo.

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was in hot demand by the huge crowds that descended on Harelbeke. The Belgian looked strong earlier in the week and will be looking to add a sixth win to his record. Joining him in the team is Niki Terpstra, who won Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier in the week.

As ever, QuickStep is fielding a strong team, but they will have to take on the likes of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who come back to racing at Harelbeke. Cancellara won here in commanding style last season, beating Sagan by more than a minute. The Swiss rider is on strong form again this Spring and could upset the home crowd.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) returns for more punishment on the cobbles. The Spaniard got his first taste at Dwars on Wednesday and replaces the injured Jose Joaquin Rojas to get a second go on the pavé.

With a strong field once again for the WorldTour race, we will get our first real insight into who is going well ahead of Flanders in jut over a week.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1