Gent - Wevelgem 2024: The Route

Gent-Wevelgem 2023Sunday 24 March - Gent-Wevelgem serves its traditional mix of unpaved roads and 'hellingen' on a 253.1 kilometres long route. After leaving the hilly zone, the race usually comes down to an intriguing game of cat and mouse between attackers and chasers in the last 35 kilometres on the flat.

That said, it didn’t pan out that way last year. On the contrary. Team mates Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte rode away from the pack on the steep cobbles of the last climb, Kemmelberg, and were 2 minutes clear in no-time. They had all the time in the world to decide who would win. After Van Aert crowned a similar duo attack in the E3 Saxo Classic in 2022, Laporte was awarded the honour in Wevelgem. Let’s hope for a more interesting finale this time.

The riders set off from under the Menin Gate in Ypres to traverse the flat fields of Flanders in the first half of the race. The terrain is very exposed, especially in De Moeren, an area close to the North Sea coast, that is renowned for its echelon threats.

Just before reaching De Panne, a town at the heart of De Moeren, the riders return inland. Tension rises as the race approaches the hilly zone and the first obstacle appears after approximately 160 kilometres. The Scherpenberg, Baneberg, Monteberg and Kemmelberg follow in quick succession before Gent-Wevelgem continues towards a Flemish take to Strade Bianche. Three sections of so-called plugstreets – or unpaved roads – are tackled within 5 kilometres.

Roughly 12 kilometres after the last plugstreet the combo Monteberg/Kemmelberg returns and with 45 kilometres remaining the riders are back where the climbing started. They hit the Scherpenberg and Baneberg and head for the race’s centerpiece, Kemmelberg, which is now tackled from another side. The final haul up is particularly intimidating. Not in terms of length – only 800 metres -, but the average gradient sits at 10.1% and the steepest ramp goes up at 23%. Cobbles round out the experience.

The remaining 34 kilometres are played out on straight and exposed roads. There is only one change of direction, in Ypres, and chasers will have a perfect target if there are any attackers up the road. Which was the case last year, but the targets were racing in a different category.

The 2022 edition was much more exciting. Four attackers – Biniam Girmay, Christophe Laporte, Dries Van Gestel, Jasper Stuyven – managed to stay 8 seconds ahead of the main group before Girmay sprinted to triumph.

Ride the route yourself? Download GPX 2024 Gent-Wevelgem.

Other interesting reads: results and start list 2024 Gent-Wevelgem.

Gent – Wevelgem 2024: route, profiles & more

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