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Gallery: On the startline at E3 Harelbeke

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Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling)

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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John Degenkolb makes his way to the start line

John Degenkolb makes his way to the start line
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Geraint Thomas leaves sign on

Geraint Thomas leaves sign on
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Bernhard Eisel (Sky Procycling)

Bernhard Eisel (Sky Procycling)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Fabian Cancellara's bike awaits for his return from the stage

Fabian Cancellara's bike awaits for his return from the stage
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Fabian Cancellara is Spartacus

Fabian Cancellara is Spartacus
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Sep Vanmarcke hopes to improve on his 2013 classics season

Sep Vanmarcke hopes to improve on his 2013 classics season
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling)

Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Luca Paolini relaxes before the start

Luca Paolini relaxes before the start
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Iljo Keisse gets his classics campaign going here

Iljo Keisse gets his classics campaign going here
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Zdenek Stybar (Omega PharmaQuickStep)

Zdenek Stybar (Omega PharmaQuickStep)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp)

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling)

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Ted King does a quick pre-race interview

Ted King does a quick pre-race interview
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Andriy Grivko (Astana)

Andriy Grivko (Astana)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Thor Hishovd radios back to his team as he rides to sign on

Thor Hishovd radios back to his team as he rides to sign on
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Peter Sagan will be looking for victory today

Peter Sagan will be looking for victory today
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Alex Dowsett uses his bike to help him stretch

Alex Dowsett uses his bike to help him stretch
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Chavanel gives his bike a quick check on the start line

Chavanel gives his bike a quick check on the start line
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Niki Terpstra already has a win this week

Niki Terpstra already has a win this week
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp)

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Alejandro Valverde returns for another taste of the cobbles

Alejandro Valverde returns for another taste of the cobbles
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano)

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Fabian Cancellara makes a late dash to the startline

Fabian Cancellara makes a late dash to the startline
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)

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.