With Milan-San Remo in the books, Classics season is truly in full swing. The one-day specialists have a full slate of racing ahead on bumpy Belgian terrain. After a midweek appetizer on the cobblestones of Dwars door Vlaanderen, riders will contest the Record Bank E3 Harelbeke on Friday and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
Featuring many of the same iconic cobbled climbs as the Tour of Flanders, E3 is a perfect tune-up race, but it's earned its place as a coveted Classics prize in its own right. The list of recent champions more than lives up to the race's WorldTour billing. Former winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be among the top favourites again this year, as will Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale) and at least half of the Quick-Step line-up.
Gent-Wevelgem is the older of the two races and has long been a favoured battleground for the fast finishers, but impressive attacks in recent editions have denied the sprinters their chance to battle for the win. Time will tell if the likes of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will have the final say Sunday.
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