In the cultural centre of The Track in Harelbeke is Monday afternoon the trail of the 61st edition of the E3 Harelbeke (WorldTour/Friday 23 march) is proposed. Only the first wedstrijdkilometers were subject to a renewal, the final remains.
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So is the Wolvenberg after 27 km course to the first climb of the day. Then comes La Houppe coming, followed by the new slope Broeke. This comes after 107 km course. From the Knokteberg, the fourth climb of the day, after 117 kilometres, is the E3 Harelbeke, a blueprint of the sixtieth edition. “Road works were the basis of this shift. Our final, we had already taken care of and there was no more planed,” says race director Philippe Vermeeren. “We are working on 23 march, around 205 kilometres. That distance is peppered with eight kasseizones, good for 15 kilometers of cobblestones, and fifteen slopes. This should guarantee again for the beautiful wielerdag in and around Harelbeke.”
Last year went out of the race to Greg Van Avermaet, who finished for Philippe Gilbert and Oliver Naesen.
The slopes: Wolvenberg (27 km), La Houppe (91 km), Pants (107 km), Knokteberg (117 km), Hotond (121 km), Kortekeer (128 km), the Taaienberg (133 km), Boigneberg (139 km), Eikenberg (km 144), Stationsberg (149 km), Kapelberg (164 km), Paterberg (164 km), Oude Kwaremont (167 km), Karnemelkbeekstraat (175 km), Tiegemberg (186 km)
The last wildcards
During the press conference were also the last wildcards awarded. “All eighteen WorldTour teams will sign as present”, explains race director Philippe Vermeeren. “In addition to those teams we also have the Belgian teams Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and WB Aqua Protect-Veranclassic slots. In addition, we also have the Dutch Roompot-Dutch Lottery, and the French teams Direct Energy and Vital Concept invited. Immediately, as the 25 participating teams captured. Our field is therefore sufficiently furnished and world champion Peter Sagan will be in Harelbeke, his first Flemish race this season.”
The participating teams:
WorldTeams: Ag2r-La Mondiale (Fra) Astana (Kaz), Bahrain-Merida (Yuck), BMC (Usa), Bora-Hansgrohe (Germany), FDJ (Fra) Lotto-Soudal (Bel), Mitchelton-Scott (Aus), Movistar (Spa) Quick-Step Floors (Bel), Team Dimension Data (ZAf), EF Education First-Drapac (VSt), Katusha-Alpecin (Swi), LottoNL-Jumbo (Ned), Team Sky (GBr), Team Sunweb (Dui), Pull-Segafredo (VSt), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Professional continental teams: Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel), Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel), Veranda’s Willems-Crelan (Bel), WB Aqua Protect-Veranclassic (Bel), Roompot Dutch Lottery (Ned), Direct Energy (Fra), Vital Concept (Fra)