Winner in E3 Harelbeke and strong in Gent-Wevelgem. The Welshman races better than ever and with a powerful Sky back-up with Stannard and Wiggins he is definitely one to watch.
What a magnificent solo last week in Gent-Wevelgem. He didn’t make it to the finish line, but if one thing, the 29-year old Belgian road racer showed absolutely brilliant form.
Plagued by a puncture at a bad time in Gent-Wevelgem, but winning Strade Bianche en finishing second in Harelbeke, the 29-year old Czech is a strong favourite. Multiple world-champion cyclo-cross, so the cobbles are natural to him.
Greg Van Avermaet
Always a great talent, winning proved to be a difficult matter for Van Avermaet. That changed in the 5th stage of the 2014 Eneco Tour with a uphill finish at the Wall of Geraardsbergen, and this season he won a stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. The Tour of Flanders suits him well – 2nd in 2014, 7th in 2013 and 4th in 2012. Now for first place, Greg?
The 26-year old Flemish rider is the sole leader for the spring classics at LottoNL-Jumbo since Lars Boom wears the Astana-kit. Vanmarcke is not yet as experienced as riders Cancellara or Boonen, but with finales in Paris-Roubaix (2013) and the Tour of Flanders (2014) he definitely is getting there.
The Slovakian moved to Tinkoff-Saxo to bring the team victories in spring. Super-talented and still only 25 years of age, Sagan will be more than eager to live up to those expectations. Was already successful in the other two cobbled Flemish classics, Gent-Wevelgem (2013) and E3 Harelbeke (2014). Two years ago he finished second in Flanders, behind Cancellara. This year, however, the spring-races in Flanders were no reason for cheer.
The winner of Paris-Roubaix 2014 is made for the cobbles and the Flemish classics, as evidenced by his victories in Dwars door Vlaanderen (2012 and 2014). The competition in the Tour of Flanders is tougher, so as of yet his best performances were 6th place in both 2012 and 2014. At 30 years of age in the prime of his life, but last week outsmarted by sly fox Paolini in Gent-Wevelgem.
The Norwegian sprinter is far more than just that. In the past, the winner of Milan-San Remo 2014 finished 4th and 5th in Flanders, while being 9th in Paris-Roubaix. Those cobblestones and Kristoff, don’t be suprised of one day they prove to be a marriage made in heaven. His final in Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, only a few days before the start of ‘De Ronde’, went very well with three stage wins and the overall.
Tour of Flanders 2015: Route, profile, times and more
Click on the images to zoom.