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Gallery: On the startline at Gent-Wevelgem

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Defending champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

Defending champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) makes his way to the start line

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) makes his way to the start line
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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BMC directuer sportif and Sky rider Geraint Thomas have a chat before the start

BMC directuer sportif and Sky rider Geraint Thomas have a chat before the start
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Luca Paolini (Katusha)

Luca Paolini (Katusha)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) returns from illness at Gent-Wevelgem

Taylor Phinney (BMC) returns from illness at Gent-Wevelgem
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) checks that his radio is working

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) checks that his radio is working
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) awaits the start

Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) awaits the start
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Lars Boom (Belkin) is heavily taped up after fracturing his elbow in Paris-Nice

Lars Boom (Belkin) is heavily taped up after fracturing his elbow in Paris-Nice
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka)

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Thor Hushovd (BMC) talk on the start line

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Thor Hushovd (BMC) talk on the start line
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Greg van Avermaet (BMC)

Greg van Avermaet (BMC)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) makes his way through the large crowds

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) makes his way through the large crowds
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)

André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) signs some autographs

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) signs some autographs
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Andrea Guardini (Astana)

Andrea Guardini (Astana)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Greg van Avermaet (BMC)

Greg van Avermaet (BMC)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Thor Hushovd (BMC)

Thor Hushovd (BMC)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Andrey Amador (Movistar)

Andrey Amador (Movistar)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) returns from sign-on

Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) returns from sign-on
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura)

Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Johnny Hoogerland (Androni Giocattoli) checks his gears

Johnny Hoogerland (Androni Giocattoli) checks his gears
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling)

Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling)
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Arnaud Démare's steed for the day

Arnaud Démare's steed for the day
(Image credit: Cyclingnews)

With its flatter profile Gent-Wevelgem marks a rare opportunity in for the sprinters to shine in the Belgian Classics, although they’ll have to hang onto the coat tails of the classics men who will do what they can to get rid of them.

For many, it will also be the final indicator of form ahead of next Sunday's Tour of Flanders and there were plenty of big names on the start line in Deinze that we captured for this special start line gallery. 

Fresh from his victory at E3 Harlebeke on Friday, defending champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is the hot favourite to do it again today. Tom Boonen will be the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team leader after Mark Cavendish pulled out due to illness. He will have the back up of Zdenek Stybar.

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was present and correct. The Swiss rider was dropped by Sagan on Friday and won’t want it to happen again. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) will be looking to get on the rostrum again, after he took second at Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier in the week. Pure sprinters such as Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Andrea Guardini (Astana) were also there, hoping to get a look in if it comes down to a bunch sprint.