Gent – Wevelgem, the next instalment in Flanders week this year. The race can suit sprinters with big names like Mario Cipollini winning here three times, but also suits strong riders capable of breaking away on one of the short, steep climbs. Recent winners have all been powerful strong sprinters and it shouldn’t be any different this year.
Gent – Wevelgem Profile
Gent – Wevelgem Contenders
The usual duo of Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara are always favourites for this sort of race when they’re on the start line. Sagan has three podiums in three years but this is one race Cancellara hasn’t actually excelled at with just one top 15 finish in his career.
Last minute edit:Cancellara has been ruled out of Gent – Wevelgem, after his crash in E3 Harelbeke.
John Degenkolb is in very good form at the moment after winning Milan – San Remo and Sep Vanmarcke always finishes in the top 5 here (he’s definitely overdue a big win). Greg van Avermaet has been at the front a lot so far this Spring and Niki Terpstra looks to better his amazing Spring last year.
The out and out sprinters have a chance at Gent – Wevelgem with most recent races coming down to a bunch sprint. The big four of Brit Mark Cavendish, German Andre Griepel and French duo Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare. Each has their own chance but Cavendish has the strongest team.
The next group of stronger type sprinters have either good history or good form currently. Matti Breschel has done well at Milan – San Remo and Dwars door Vlaanderen so far in 2015 and Niccolo Bonifazio did very well in the Tour Down Under and a top 5 in Milan – San Remo the other week too. Sebastian Langeveld is a normal cert to be around the top ten of the Spring Classics and Edward Boasson Hagen has won this race before and seems in good form since his move to MTN as well.
Gent – Wevelgem Outsiders
Sam Bennett has some good results this year, a top ten in Tirreno – Adriatico and a stage win in the Tour of Qatar. He also came 12th in this race last year but won’t get too much of a mention this time around.
Edward Theuns was on this list before his result at Dwars door Vlaanderen but he’ll definitely be more on the radar now.
Andrey Amador doesn’t seem a rider ideally suited to the cobbles on paper, but he also has a top ten finish here. He was in the chasing group in Dwars doo Vlaanderen so has good form and can get another top ten this year.
Gent – Wevelgem Prediction
1 – Arnaud Demare
2 – John Degenkolb
3 – Peter Sagan