Gent - Wevelgem 2024: Favourites

Jasper Philipsen - Gent - Wevelgem 2024: Favouritesfoto: Cor VosGent-Wevelgem used to be billed as a Flemish Classic for sprinters, but that qualification is outdated, as recent editions did not come down to a fast finishers showdown. In fact, the last bunch sprint happened in 2019. Who are the favourites to win Gent-Wevelgem?

Brutal gusts of wind as in the 2015 edition – which catapulted riders into the road side – are not to be expected, but the riders should be prepared to face horrible weather. Strong winds and hail storms are forecasted.

The first part of the race takes place on flat en and exposed roads before the riders enter a section with a series of hills and three unpaved roads within 63 kilometres. The last 34 kilometres are played out on exposed roads again, where crosswinds and echelons are imminent.

Attackers are a perfect target on the flat run-in to Wevelgem. On the other hand, if the attackers are powerful enough – and the race has been hard enough – a chase does not always pay off. Which has been the case in most recent editions.

Last year, the attackers were too far away to even serve as a a target. Jumbo-Visma’s sterling duo Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte rode away from the field on the last climb, Kemmelberg, and were 2 minutes clear in no-time. Which remained the gap all the way to the finish line. Laporte was gifted the win.

Five participants are familiar with the sensation of winning the race – Edvald Boasson Hagen (2009), John Degenkolb (2014), Alexander Kristoff (2019), Mads Pedersen (2020), and Biniam Girmay (2022). The winner of 2021, Wout van Aert, confirmed early on that he would skip the race this year. A setback for the team is that the winner of last year, Christophe Laporte, won’t compete either, so Olav Kooij – who took two stage wins in Paris-Nice – is Visma | Lease a Bike’s sole leader now.

The Flemish classics of this season were won by Jan Tratnik (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad), Wout van Aert (Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne), Tim Merlier (Nokere Koerse), Jasper Philipsen (Brugge-De Panne) and Mathieu van der Poel (E3 Saxo Classic). Philipsen also took Milan-San Remo and a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico, while Kooij won two stages in Paris-Nice.

Favourites 2024 Gent-Wevelgem

**** Mathieu van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen, Olav Kooij
*** Arnaud De Lie, Mads Pedersen, Tim Merlier, Matej Mohoric
** Michael Matthews, Jonathan Milan, Biniam Girmay, Fred Wright
* Søren Kragh Andersen, Jasper Stuyven, Stefan Küng, Laurance Pithie

Watch the highlights of recent races here:
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