The WorldTour descends upon Harelbeke on Friday with the Classics stars set to battle it out on the cobbles and hellingen of Belgium.
From there the race is peppered with hellingen - the Eikenberg (118km), Taaienberg (128km), and Knokteberg (143km) standing out in section of 39km that includes no fewer than seven climbs. However, it’s not until the Paterberg (173km) and Oude Kwaremont (177km), that the main contenders typically tend to shine. In the last few years both climbs have been repeatedly used to form winning attacks and although two climbs remain from the base of the Kwaremont until the finish, the 20km between the final climb and the finish line in Harelbeke could provide the opportunity for a number of riders to pull themselves back into contention.
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Team Sky come into the race with a number of cards to play but Geraint Thomas stands out of his ride in Milan-San Remo. Viviani has been drafted in to replace Bradley Wiggins but in Peter Kennaugh, Bernhard Eisel and Ian Stannard, the team has options.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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