Riders to Look Out for at Gent-Wevelgem in 2024

Mathieu van der Poel

Gent-Wevelgem, set to light up the cycling calendar once again in 2024, remains a key highlight in the Spring Classics. This race, famed for its testing combination of cobbled climbs, flat, windy sections, and the notorious Kemmelberg, tests every dimension of a cyclist’s skill and endurance. Notable previous winners include cycling legends such as Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet, who have both mastered the art of timing and tactics to claim victory. As we look towards the 2024 edition, a mix of seasoned veterans and rising stars are lining up, each with their eyes firmly set on adding their name to the illustrious list of winners.

Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel is undoubtedly the man with a solid chance at Gent-Wevelgem in 2024. His season so far has been nothing short of impressive, with significant wins that underline his status as one of the sport’s top contenders. Van der Poel’s history at Gent-Wevelgem shows he knows exactly how to handle the race’s unique challenges, especially the Kemmelberg climb which often proves decisive. His ability to launch powerful attacks and his knack for being in the right place at the right time make him a formidable competitor. Given his exceptional form and proven track record in this race, Van der Poel is many people’s best shout for the win this year.

Mads Pedersen
(Photo credit: Stephane Mahe)

Mads Pedersen

Mads Pedersen, the Danish powerhouse, has consistently been a rider to watch in the early part of the 2024 season. His notable performances, including a podium finish at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, signal that he’s in top form. Pedersen has shown time and again that he’s a master at tackling the rigours of Gent-Wevelgem, managing to secure decent results in past editions. His strong sprinting ability, coupled with his knack for enduring harsh race conditions, positions him as a good option for a top finish. Pedersen’s blend of experience, current form, and determination makes him a serious contender for this year’s race.

Olav Kooij

Olav Kooij, the young sprinter from the Netherlands, has rapidly risen through the ranks to become one of the most exciting talents in professional cycling. His victories in the 2024 season, including a standout performance at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, have showcased his speed and tactical racing sense. Although Kooij may lack the extensive experience at Gent-Wevelgem of his competitors, his recent results suggest he has the potential to achieve a great outcome. His primary strength is his sprinting ability, which could see him outpace many competitors in a tight finish. Kooij represents the next wave of cycling stars, and his participation in the 2024 Gent-Wevelgem is highly anticipated.

Mikkel Bjerg
Mikkel Bjerg
(Photo credit: Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto)

Mikkel Bjerg

Mikkel Bjerg, known for his exceptional time-trialling skills, has been showing signs that he’s more than just a one-trick pony. His performances leading up to the 2024 season have demonstrated significant improvements in his ability to compete in one-day races. Although Bjerg’s past experiences at Gent-Wevelgem haven’t yet resulted in top finishes, his current form suggests he could be in for a much better result this time around. His endurance and pace-keeping ability, essential for the long, flat sections of the race, give him a decent shot at making it into the leading group and possibly contending for the win.

Jhonnatan Narvaez

Jhonnatan Narvaez has been quietly building a reputation as a versatile rider capable of challenging across various terrains. His performances in 2024, including a strong showing at the Tour of Colombia, indicate he’s in fine form this season. Narvaez’s previous attempts at Gent-Wevelgem have shown he’s capable of handling the race’s demands, and with each year, he seems to get closer to the front. His all-around ability makes him well-suited to the unpredictable nature of Gent-Wevelgem, where conditions and race dynamics can change rapidly. Narvaez is considered a dark horse for the 2024 edition, with a good chance of achieving his best result yet.

As the cycling world turns its attention to the 2024 Gent-Wevelgem, these five riders stand out as having the best shot at success. Their unique strengths, combined with their form this season, suggest we’re in for an exciting and competitive race. Whether it’s through a daring solo breakaway, a masterclass in sprinting, or sheer endurance, this year’s Gent-Wevelgem promises to be a spectacle of top-tier cycling.

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