Last year ended Philippe Gilbert was second in E3 Harelbeke after Greg Van Avermaet. Friday does the rider of Quick-Step Floors, a new throw for the victory in the worldtour classic. Two days later, Gilbert also in Gent-Wevelgem.
In addition to Gilbert drive also Tim Declercq, and Yves Lampaert, Frenchman Florian Sénéchal, the Czech Zdenek Stybar, and the Dutchman Niki Terpstra, the double. Iljo Keisse will start in E3 Harelbeke and is in the core for Sunday are replaced by the Italian cut out for sprinter Elia Viviani.
“The E3 Harelbeke is one of the toughest competitions in the world, but without the secrets. The ploegtactiek will play a big role”, says directeur sportif Tom Steels. “In the past months we have worked hard to be in the best possible condition for this important period of the year. We want to be there, and not only because it is a good preparation for the Round, but also because it is a very important and beautiful race.”
Steels looks also forward to Sunday. “Gent-Wevelgem is, in principle, decide on the Kemmelberg. But perhaps the decision will be made already in the past, after 50 km. Everyone will be looking down on us because we have options in every scenario. We aim for a good result, but we’ll keep our cards close to the chest.”