Hills and cobbles, those are the ingredients of E3 Harelbeke.
Following the last hill, Tiegemberg, a flat section of 20 kilometres should suit the likes of fast men such as Kristoff. Possibly the only contender who could outsprint the Norwegian is Peter Sagan. Or Boonen and maybe even Cancellara when the race really did wear the riders out. The other contenders have only one option: to drop Kristoff on the cobbles or 15 hills leading to the flat finale.
Title holder Geraint Thomas will be absent in edition 2016. Who is going to be his successor? Boonen and Cancellara know what it’s like to win Harelbeke. Boonen is a five time winner, while Cancellara was the party boy on three occasion. The only other contender to win the race is Peter Sagan, who won in 2014.
Arnaud Démare is full of confidence after winning Milan-San Remo and a stage in Paris-Nice..
Favourites E3 Harelbeke 2016
*** Alexander Kristoff, Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan
** Niki Terpstra, Zdenek Stybar, Tiesj Benoot
* Arnaud Démare, Lars Boom, Sep Vanmarcke, Jurgen Roelandts
E3 Harelbeke 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.