GENT-WEVELGEM’22 Preview: Contenders In Flanders Fields

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Race Preview: Because the biking season strikes into Ed Hood’s favorite faze – The Spring Classics – our most skilled ‘race chaser’ previews this Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem. Steeped in historical past and a memorial to the various battles and deaths within the space from two World wars. Fairly apt in the mean time.


Watch probably the most complete stay & ad-free protection of Gent-Wevelgem 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with stay polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, outcomes & extra – plus stream authentic and unique biking documentaries. Watch all of it with GCN+ on any system.


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In Flanders Fields

Gent – Wevelgem; does it actually go from the capital of Flanders to the city by the River Leie?:
Nope – and also you wouldn’t ask that should you’d seen the site visitors round Gent not too long ago. However the begin is on sacred floor; beneath the historic Menin Gate in Ypres, the large memorial to 54,395 Commonwealth troopers who died within the Ypres Salient throughout World Battle One however whose our bodies have by no means been recognized or discovered. The end nevertheless is in Wevelgem, Vanackerestraat to be exact, which I can’t consider a lot to say about, besides the time Vik and I have been in a bar there and the locals fed us these deep fried globules of I dread to suppose what. . .

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The Menin Gate, Ieper/Yres

However is it a REAL Traditional, it was once mid-week?
That’s true however because it got here below the ‘Flanders Classics’ organisation umbrella it’s been upgraded to full World Tour Standing with all of the World Tour groups in attendance and a ‘correct’ 249 kilometre parcours.

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The 9 Climbs
1. Scherpenberg (at 97.5km from the end)
1,600m, 3% common and eight.4% most

2. Baneberg (at 91.9km from the end)
2,000m, 4.6% avg. and 11.2% max.

3. Monteberg (85.9km from the end)
1,400m, 7.7% avg. and eight.6% max.

4. Kemmelberg (Belvedere – 84.1km from the end)
3,000m, 4% avg. and 22% max.

5. Monteberg (at 53.6km from the end)
1,400m, 7.7% avg. and eight.6% max.

6. Kemmelberg (Belvedere – 51.8km from the end)
3,000m, 4% avg. and 22% max.

7. Scherpenberg (at 44.3km from the end)
1,600m, 3% avg. and eight.4% max.

8. Baneberg (at 39.6km from the end)
2,000m., 4.6% avg. and 11.2% max.

9. Kemmelberg (Ossuaire – 34.3 km from the end)
700m, 10.4% avg. and 21.1% max.

The three Plugstreets (4,000m)
1. Hill 63 (2,100m, at 71.6km from the end)
2. Christmas Truce (1,300m, at 69.1km from the end)
3. The Catacombs (600m, at 66.9km from the end)

It’s presupposed to be a ‘sprinters’ basic,’ however what about all these hills?
Sure, there are 9 hellingen crammed collectively within the second half of the race between kilometres 152 and 214 after a touch north as much as the North Beach and again – BUT with some 30-odd kilometres between the final hill and the end line there’s time for the race to ‘gel’ and the sprinters to get their breath again, in concept. Typically, that’s – Cav might by no means conquer the savage Kemmelberg which is ascended twice, at 197 and 214 kilometres. Of the ‘Recordmen’ solely ‘Tremendous Mario’ Cipollini might be mentioned to be a ‘pure’ sprinter, the remaining are all powerful ‘Classicers.’ Now we have to issue within the cross winds which sweep throughout the flatlands and provides the strongmen the chance to tear the race aside with ‘bordure’ – echelon – driving, enjoying in to the fingers of the basic specialists within the finale.

Hoogvliet - Gent - Wevelgem - Sean Kelly, Frank Hoste and Gregor Braun dismount their bikes as they run up the Kemmelberg during the 1982 edition of the race. The Kemmelberg starts at around 8% and then goes to over 20% towards the top - Gent-Wevelgem in Belgium - foto Cor Vos ©2012
The Kemmelberg has high males strolling

But when it was a race for sprinters how come Cav has by no means received it, he’s been the quickest man round for the final decade?
Sure, however Cav and the legendary ‘Kemmel’ climb simply couldn’t settle their variations; I keep in mind watching the race on Belgian TV and as Cav slipped backwards on the Kemmel the commentator started to sing the Roy Orbison basic; ‘It’s over’ as his co-commentator consoled the Manxman by saying that it wouldn’t be too lengthy till the pan flat Scheldeprijs – these Belgians’ sense of humour. . .

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That are worse, cobbles or gravel?

What concerning the three gravel sectors – decisive or a gimmick?
‘Plugstreets’ – good viewing for the TV and for testing these tubeless tyres we’re all going to be driving quickly, with our disc brakes. Simply don’t get Patrick Lefevere began as regards to gravel.

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - archief - archive - stock - Andre Dierickx en Frans Verbeeck in de finale van Gent - Wevelgem - foto Cor Vos ©2008
Laborious males in Flanders

Give us the stats then. . .
Unsurprisingly, it helps should you’re Belgian, of 83 editions to this point they’ve received 50, with Italy a distant second on seven wins; nevertheless it’s a ‘cosmo’ race with 15 totally different nations registering a win.

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Barry Hoban in 1974

And I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out Barry Hoban’s win for GB in 1974 forward of Messrs. Merckx and De Vlaeminck – stunning. Six riders have received the race thrice: Peter Sagan in 2013, 2016 and 2018 is the one one of many three time winner ‘Recordmen’ nonetheless energetic; the others are Tom Boonen (2004, 2011, 2012), Mario Cipollini (1992, 1993, 2012), Eddy Merckx (1967, 1970, 1973), Rik Van Looy (1956, 1957, 1962), and Robert Van Eenaeme (1936, 1937, 1945). However the Slovak has the most effective palmarès attributable to his one second and two third locations, giving him six podiums.

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‘Tommeke’ in 2012

Peter Sagan is driving; might he or any of the opposite earlier winners driving win once more?
Peter Sagan – whose type is coming, it needs to be mentioned – is certainly driving and we’ve got one other 5 earlier winners on the beginning sheet.

Wevelgem - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - hansgrohe) pictured during Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields (1.WWT) a one day men’s elite race from Gent to Wevelgem 25-03-2018 - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018
Peter Sagan in 2018

John Degenkolb 2014 [Team DSM & Germany] it’s extremely unlikely he can win until it’s a savage day.

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Eight years since Degenkolb received in 2014

Greg Van Avermaet 2017 [AG2R Citroën & Belgium] it’s unlikely he can repeat however his type is sweet and a podium wouldn’t shock us. . .

Wevelgem - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL) Rider of BMC Racing Team celebrates the victory before KEUKELEIRE Jens (BEL) Rider of Orica - Scott Team pictured during Gent - Wevelgem World Tour UCI - photo PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017
Van Avermaet – 2017 winner

Alex Kristoff 2019 [Intermarché Wanty & Norway] once more, unlikely but when it’s blowing a gale and the rain is stinging then it’ll be similar to Stavanger. . .

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Can Kristoff repeat 2019?

Mads Pedersen 2020 [Trek Segafredo & Denmark] for positive he can, he’s had two wins already this yr and was robust within the Primavera.

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Mads Pedersen has the shape

Wout Van Aert 2021 [Jumbo Visma & Belgium] one other man who it’s not tough to see successful after his demonstrations in Het Nieuwsblad and Paris-Good.

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Van Aert is (almost) all the time a protected wager

WVA received final yr, didn’t he – who else can win?
Final yr’s runner up, Giacomo Nizzolo, [Israel Premier Tech & Italy] didn’t fairly recover from the Poggio with, ‘The Bigs’ on Saturday attributable to a crash. He received’t be on the start-line attributable to a damaged wrist that was discovered after he completed in Sanremo.

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Second in 2021, however no Nizzolo this yr

Fast-Step Alpha Vinyl discipline their common robust line up with huge finishers – final yr’s Het Nieuwsblad winner, Davide Ballerini [Italy] and the ‘winningest’ man of 2022 to this point, Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen who already has six notches on his high tube.
Albeit the Cipressa was simply an excessive amount of for him. . . Moreover there’s Danish strongman Kasper Asgreen.

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As all the time Fast-Step has a selection – Kasper Asgreen?

As regards to ‘strongmen,’ huge Groupama-FDJ Suisse, Stefan Küng is one other man to look at.

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Sturdy man – Stefan Küng

Within the absence of MVDP – at time of writing – the hopes of the workforce with the most effective hair within the peloton, Alpecin-Fenix relaxation their hopes with former Belgian Champion and already a winner – with a Tirreno stage and Nokere Koerse to his identify this yr, Tim Merlier – he’s fast.

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Tim Merlier has wins in Tirreno and the Nokere Koerse this yr

Large German, Pascal Ackermann [UAE Emirates] has re-found his dash legs once more with a win within the current Bredene Koksijde Traditional.

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Pascal Ackermann received in Koksijde final week

While workforce mate, Italy’s Matteo Trentin has been third into Wevelgem for the final two years.

le samyn
Trentin was the most effective in Le Samyn

Then there’s the person who made the descent of the Poggio his personal on Saturday, Matej Mohorič [Bahrain Victorious & Slovenia] who needs to be thought-about in any race over 200 kilometres now – and his self-belief will probably be off the dimensions. . .

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No downhill end in Wevelgem for Mohrič

And for extra type clues watch Wednesday’s Minerva Traditional Brugge De Panne and Friday’s GP E3 Saxo Financial institution Traditional

One identify ?
Pedersen.

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Ed’s choose for Wevelgem – Mads Pedersen

St. Pierre
St. Pierre – Ed Flemish Traditional favorite

The brew?
We’re sticking with Aldi’s, St. Pierre Abbey beer; however tempo your self, I bought it mistaken with the Peroni Gran Riserva on Saturday and needed to watch the finale once more on ‘catch up’ on Sunday morning to remind myself what occurred. . .

# Maintain it PEZ for the ‘Gent-Wevelgem Race Report’ and extra information in EUROTRASH Monday. #

Gent-Wevelgem 2021


Watch probably the most complete stay & ad-free protection of Gent-Wevelgem 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with stay polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, outcomes & extra – plus stream authentic and unique biking documentaries. Watch all of it with GCN+ on any system.



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