Gent-Wevelgem welcomes two world champions

Gent-Wevelgem welcomes two world champions

Road  14/03/2024

On Sunday 24 March, Ypres is preparing to welcome Mathieu van der Poel and Lotte Kopecky at the start of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields. The final is unchanged, which means that the Kemmelberg will once again be serving as the deciding factor. Also this year, we will be crowning the winners on Vanackerestraat in Wevelgem. The programme in Ypres will be completed by a paracycling race.

At the start of the sacred Flemish cycling week, Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields awaits. In Ypres, cycling fans will have a well-filled day programme to look forward to, starting with the teams presentation of the Men Elite at around 9:00. The programme in Ypres takes place on the Grote Markt and is as follows:

> 9:00 | Teams presentation of the Men Elite
> 10:40 | Start of the Men Elite
> 10:45 | Performance by 'Veel Fokkersvreugde'
> 11:40 | Teams presentation of the Women Elite
> 13:15 | Start of the Women Elite
> 13:30 | Paracycling race
> 15:45 | Passage of the Men Elite
> 17:00 | Passage of the Women Elite

Wevelgem then prepares to welcome the successors to Christophe Laporte and Marlen Reusser. At around 16:20, we expect the winner in the men’s race on Vanackerestraat. A little over an hour later, at around 17:35, we will be keeping an eye out for Reusser’s successor. Both races will be televised live, just like past editions. Cycling fans can visit several fan zones in Wevelgem:

> Finish in Vanackerestraat
> Moorsele in Warandestraat
> Gullegem on Dorpsplein

Identical final
Between Ypres and Wevelgem, a course similar to that of 2023 awaits. Both the men (253 km) and the women (171 km) head towards De Moeren first, before contesting a final in Heuvelland. There, the key role is played by the Kemmelberg which, as in past editions, will be climbed along both the Ossuaire and the Belvedère sides in both races. The Monteberg, located a little under 55 km from the finish, heralds the ultimate finale. This is followed by the climb of Kemmelberg Belvedère. The route then goes via the Scherpenberg and Baneberg towards Kemmelberg Ossuaire, the steepest climb towards the highest point of West Flanders. From there, it is still some 34 km to the finish in Wevelgem with a passage through the centre of Ypres 25 km from the line.

Provisional start lists
The provisional start list for the 86th edition on Sunday 24 March is packed with top riders of the classics in both the men’s and women’s races. Ypres can thus look forward to the arrival of the two reigning world champions, Lotte Kopecky and Mathieu van der Poel. The two European champions are also at the start: Mischa Bredewold will be accompanying her front woman Kopecky and Christophe Laporte will be wearing the number one jersey following his win in 2023.

Participants Women Elite

Kopecky and Bredewold are additionally being joined by Wiebes (Team SD Worx - Protime). The competition comes from Lidl - Trek, which is bringing two former winners to the start with Balsamo and Deignan. Longo Borghini, Van Anrooij and Van Dijk are also on the provisional start list. Also keep an eye out for the duos Persico - Consonni (UAE Team ADQ), Backstedt - Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing), Cant - Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Pfeiffer - Kool (Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL).

Discover the provisional start list for the Women Elite here.

Participants Men Elite

As for the men, European champion Laporte (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) will be joined by Benoot and Kooij. In addition, a number of former winners are heading to Ypres: Pedersen is at the start for Lidl-Trek with Stuyven and Milan. Also, Girmay (Intermarché - Wanty), Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) and Degenkolb (Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL) will be present. Furthermore, look out for De Lie (Lotto Dstny), Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step), Matthews and Groenewegen (Team Jayco AlUla) and Démare (Arkéa-B&B Hotels).

Discover the provisional start list for the Men Elite here.

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