Only one former winner in Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) will line up at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday with three-time winners Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) both missing due to injury. Their absences create the opportunity for a new batch of riders to stand on the top step of De Ronde and possibly begin a long reign on the cobbles.
Last year's runner-up Greg Van Avermaet will line up still feeling the effects of his injury from E3 Harelbeke while last year's third place, Sep Vanmarcke, has had a good start to his classics campaign but is yet to claim a win.
Peter Sagan has also finished on the podium before and can't be discounted although Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has continued to press his claim for favourite status with six wins already this season. Since his Milan-San Remo win last year, the Norwegian has a well-drilled Katusha team, while Geraint Thomas is in the form of his life and will be a rider to watch after his E3 Harelbeke. To see who else we've tipped for the Tour of Flanders, check out the video below.
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