The Flemish spring takes place in the autumn and today it is Gent-Wevelgem’s turn. Our cycling editorial team puts Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel in the favorite role.
3 stars: two cyclists
The autumn edition of Gent-Wevelgem, with traditionally quite a few slopes and a few plugstreets along the way, should suit two riders more than the rest who are used to shining in inclement weather conditions: Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.
Van der Poel demonstrated his excellent form in recent weeks with a cabinet piece in the BinckBank Tour and 6th place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In the Brabant Arrow he let himself be tricked in the sprint, so he had to settle for 2nd place. He undoubtedly wants to get his gram.
Our cycling editorial team puts Van der Poel on a par with his motocross buddy Van Aert, who literally cashed in on his Tour form at the World Cup, where he won silver in the time trial and the road trial. Since then he has taken relative rest and says the batteries are fully charged again.
2 stars: Naesen and two Scandinavians
We give two stars to Alexander Kristoff, among others, always a man to keep an eye on. He took a ride in the Tour and seems ready for the race he won last year. Moreover, the sturdy Norwegian is not averse to a breeze or a splash of rain.
Mads Pedersen, who can certainly stand out well in bad weather, has been known since his triumph at the World Cup last year. The Dane just won a stage in the BinckBank Tour, where he was also the first in the points classification. So he starts with confidence.
Finally, also 2 stars for Oliver Naesen, who despite a big hit in the 1st stage of the BinckBank Tour still seems ready for Gent-Wevelgem. He proved that with the 2nd place in the final stage, a handful of seconds from the unapproachable Van der Poel.
1 star: a handful of fast legs
Five riders receive one star from our cycling editorial team. We mainly find fast guys, such as Sam Bennett. If the Irish green jersey winner survives a tough race in a smaller group, he is obviously not without a chance in the sprint.
The Jaspers – Philipsen and Stuyven – can also speculate on their sprint and have the advantage of being able to act in the shadow of their respective leaders Kristoff and Pedersen.
Italians Sonny Colbrelli and Matteo Trentin close the list. Trentin is the leader at CCC and Colbrelli showed in the BinckBank Tour and with a 4th place in the Brabantse Pijl that he is in good shape.