There are 25 of them, the elite men’s teams ready to color the race on Sunday 29 March when the 82nd edition of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields takes place. All 19 UCI WorldTeams signed up to be at the start in the center of Ypres. They will be joined by 6 UCI ProTeams, four of them with a wildcard.
One day before the pros, on Saturday 28 March 2020, you can ride your own Gent-Wevelgem Sportive. The Westhoek and the Heuvelland will be the décor of a ride through the history of the Great War. A ride that you as a cycling fan and world citizen can’t possibly miss, are we right?
Great news for Ghent-Wevelgem and for the city of Ypres: Ypres Market Square will become the unique backdrop to one of the most beautiful classics in the cycling season in the coming years. For Ghent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, as a WorldTour race, it is important to continuously renew and to strengthen its identity. After upgrading women's cycle racing, adding the "Plugstreets" to the route, introducing the "7 races in 1 day" concept, the organisation now announces a brand new start place for the WorldTour Men's Elite race, amidst Flanders Fields: The Peace City of Ypres (read more). Pic.:Jered Gruber
The wind is one of the elements that can add some spice to the Gent-Wevelgem, which was no different in this edition. This time, a strong northeast wind played a crucial role in the racing story: it inspired the cyclists to make the race a tough one, right from the beginning. Twenty cyclists did not wait until “De Moeren”, but made use of the wind and the coastal zone to enforce a separation after 50 kilometres already, and that with an average of 52 km/h. (Photo: Photo News)
The 81st edition of Gent-Wevelgem lies just around the corner, on Sunday 31 March, with 25 teams ready to show why this race through Flanders Fields is highlighted in their calendars. A full complement of 18 WorldTour teams is joined by seven ProContinental outfits signing on at the start in Deinze, with the seven wildcard invites divided between Belgian, French and Dutch teams (read more)
Karel Van Wijnendale once wrote: ‘Never, in the memory of mankind, was a race harder and more gruesome; never did it work more murderous on the mind, the bodily disposition of a cyclist.’ Written on Sunday, 11 May 1919: the Belgian Charles Deruyter has just won the first - and will prove later - the only edition of the Omloop van de Slagvelden (Tour of the Battlefields). On 19 December 1918, the Paris newspaper “le Petit Journal” announced a heroic cycling race along the battlefields of the Western Front, a 1985-kilometre route, executed in 7 stages, spread over 14 days. The newspaper wanted to pay tribute to the ‘glorious episodes from the Great War and to the numerous soldiers who had fought for victory’. The route originated in Strasbourg and then via Luxembourg, Brussels, Amiens, Paris, Bar-Le-Duc and Belfort back to Strasbourg again.
The tactical plan of the world champion was perfect: riding along in the group of favourites and starting the sprint surprisingly early, causing him to checkmate the others. He could assess the strength of Elia Viviani and Arnaud Demare in the sprint. By winning three times, twice in the rainbow jersey, he joins our record holders list; a list that he shares with Tom Boonen, Eddy Merckx, Rik Van Looy and Mario Cipollini. (Photo: Nico Vereecken - Photo News)
At first, there will be sunny spells. Later on, the cloudiness will increase. A local little shower is not to be excluded, but most probably, it will remain dry. At the start, the temperature will be around 8 degrees. Later on, it will rise up to about 12 degrees. During the whole day, the wind will blow from the north with an average speed of 3 BF. On the next page you will find the meteo map.
Prepare to suffer on the famous Kemmelberg, fight against the relentless wind in De Moeren and make your way through the semi-paved Plugstreets. To cap off a heroic ride you will get to throw your arms aloft as you cross the finish on the Vanackerestraat, one day before we find out who will succeed Greg van Avermaet. Choose between four distances and ... no matter which distance you choose, you will finish in style on the banks of the river Leie.
During our press conference last month, we handed "The Kemmelberg Trophy" to Sam Bewley (Orica-Scott) and Jack Bauer (Quick.Step Floors). Bewley and Bauer took the artwork to their home country, where it finally arrived. Read more to see the video message.
Ghent-Wevelgem does not carry the subtitle ‘In Flanders Fields’ by mere coincidence. The organizers of the early season classic attach a lot of importance in keeping the reminder of World War I alive. For example, the role played by the New Zealand Cyclist Corps in the ‘Great War’ will be highlighted this year.
Ghent-Wevelgem is in its 80th edition, but it is more alive than ever. Innovation has also never been a negative word for the organizers of the West Flanders World Tour Classics. That is why the U23 Cyclists Showing Promise and the Ladies Elite will also be sent over the famous Plugstreet - semi-paved strips in the region of Ploegsteert - in 2018.
1918. Next year, it will have been exactly one hundred years since the First World War came to an end. 2018 will be a year in which people all over the globe commemorate the ending of the Great War. Flanders Classics and the Ghent-Wevelgem Organisation believe this centennial provides an ideal opportunity for establishing a new race in a region that will eternally be associated with its historic battlefields: