On Sunday, Ypres is the setting for the start of the classic that crosses Flanders Fields. In the shadow of the Menin Gate, the fastest and strongest men are at the start. Last year's winner Alexander Kristoff will compete against Bennett, Ewan, Ackermann and Van Aert.
Last year, the Norwegian Kristoff was the strongest in the sprint of a depleted peloton. He was faster than Degenkolb and Naesen, who are also back in the race on Sunday. The latter will have his own brother Lawrence Naesen and Stijn Vandenbergh with him. At Lotto Soudal they count on the fast legs of the Australian Ewan and on Degenkolb. That other Belgian UCI WorldTeam, Deceuninck - Quick-Step, is also deploying his fastest man: Sam Bennet is supported by a strong team with Lampaert, Asgreen, Stybar and Sénéchal.
At Bahrain-McLaren they also bring a team to the start with a mix of sprinters and classic men: Cavendish, Colbrelli and Haussler. We see the same phenomenon at Bora-Hansgrohe, where they send experienced men Burghardt and Oss together with Ackermann. Of course, Van Aert, one of the men of the moment, is not missing at the start in Ypres either. Jumbo-Visma supports his leader with road captain Wynants and the strong Teunissen. The latter was in the leading group last year, just like the Italian Trentin, on whom CCC Team is counting.
EF Pro Cycling also has a strong classics squad: Tour of Flanders winner 2019 Bettiol is at the start with Keukeleire, Langeveld and Vanmarcke. Trek-Segafredo chooses the trio Pedersen, Stuyven and Theuns. The peloton also includes Cees Bol and Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb), Rowe and Van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Boasson Hagen (NTT Pro Cycling), Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Politt and Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation).
Also among the 6 UCI ProTeams we find some fine folk. The experienced Dutchman Terpstra leads Total Direct Energy. Alpecin-Fenix chooses man in form Van der Poel and the fast legs of Merlier. B&B Hotels - Vital Concept counts on Debusschere and Backaert, among others, while Circus - Wanty Gobert will bring De Gendt and Dupont to the start.
In summary, we can say that on Sunday a very strong peloton will start under the Menin Gate in the 82nd edition of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields. Who will be the strongest on the Vanackerestraat in Wevelgem after the combination of Moeren, Kemmelberg and Plugstreets is something we know Sunday evening. Take a look at the provisional list of participants below.
Download the provisional start list here.
Don't forget, you'll see more from a distance! Given the current state of health in Belgium, the organisation calls on you not to come to the start, course and finish, but to follow the race from a safe distance at home. You can find more information on the live broadcasting here.