Skip to main content

Startline gallery: Dwars Door Vlaanderen

Image 1 of 23

Mark Cavendish (Sky) at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 2 of 23

A relaxed Oscar Freire (Katusha) at the start.

A relaxed Oscar Freire (Katusha) at the start. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 3 of 23

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) signs an autograph before the start.

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) signs an autograph before the start. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 4 of 23

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) begins his Belgian campaign at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) begins his Belgian campaign at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 5 of 23

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) signs on in Roeselare.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) signs on in Roeselare. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 6 of 23

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) shares his thoughts before the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) shares his thoughts before the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 7 of 23

Nico Eeckhout (An Post-Sean Kelly) won Dwars Door Vlaanderen in 2001 and 2005.

Nico Eeckhout (An Post-Sean Kelly) won Dwars Door Vlaanderen in 2001 and 2005. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 8 of 23

For the road. The peloton ready for the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

For the road. The peloton ready for the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 9 of 23

Carlos Barredo (Rabobank) samples the atmosphere in Roeselare.

Carlos Barredo (Rabobank) samples the atmosphere in Roeselare. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 10 of 23

Grega Bole leads the Lampre-ISD charge.

Grega Bole leads the Lampre-ISD charge. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 11 of 23

The peloton gathered in Roeselare for the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

The peloton gathered in Roeselare for the start of Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 12 of 23

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) is chasing sprint victory.

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) is chasing sprint victory. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 13 of 23

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) checks his steed before the start in Roeselare.

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) checks his steed before the start in Roeselare. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 14 of 23

CJ Sutton lines up as part of a six-man Sky team.

CJ Sutton lines up as part of a six-man Sky team. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 15 of 23

Oscar Freire (Katusha) has the quality to win in Belgium/

Oscar Freire (Katusha) has the quality to win in Belgium/ (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 16 of 23

Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Katusha) at the start in Roeselare.

Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Katusha) at the start in Roeselare. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 17 of 23

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 18 of 23

Irish champion Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

Irish champion Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 19 of 23

Mark Cavendish (Sky) is looking to put his Milan-San Remo disappointment behind him.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) is looking to put his Milan-San Remo disappointment behind him. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 20 of 23

Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) en route to the start.

Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) en route to the start. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 21 of 23

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) is a popular figure after his win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) is a popular figure after his win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 22 of 23

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) rides to the start.

Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) rides to the start. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)
Image 23 of 23

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) reminds himself of the day's key moments.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) reminds himself of the day's key moments. (Image credit: Barry Ryan)

Just ten days from the Tour of Flanders, the cobbled classics campaign began in earnest on Wednesday with Dwars Door Vlaanderen. The 200km race from Roeselare to Waregem features no fewer than 13 hellingen and is often offers a solid form guide ahead of De Ronde.

Twelve months ago, it was Nick Nuyens who triumphed, and his clever win in Waregem presaged a similar triumph at the Tour of Flanders. The Belgian is absent through injury this time around, but there was no shortage of classics contenders on the startline in Roeselare on Wednesday morning.

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda), Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) should all be in the hunt for major wins in the weeks to come, and they all be looking to draw first blood on the road to Waregem.

Given that 2012 sees the route of the Tour of Flanders become ever more difficult, however, the sprinters know that opportunities are at a premium in Belgium this spring, and they will be hoping that the balance of Dwars Door Vlaanderen’s varied route tips in their favour this year.

The summit of the final climb, the Nokereberg, comes with just under 8km to go, but the flat, fast run-in to Waregem will give the sprinters a chance to get back into the fray. After missing out in Milan-San Remo, Oscar Freire (Katusha), Mark Renshaw (Rabobank), Matt Goss (GreenEdge), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) and Mark Cavendish (Sky) should not be lacking in motivation here.