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Gent - Wevelgem in Flanders Field 2023 March 26, 260.9 km (1.WT)

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I still hope for epic conditions. Roubaix 2021 delivered, in such conditions. Always good for outsiders. Florian Vermeersch achieved podium back then.

WT classics like Wevelgem nowadays do not see any outsiders in the top ranks, sadly. No chance.

But they still stand at the startline. They race against van Aert et al.. Like playing football in an important match against Messi.

Here, I noticed

https://www.procyclingstats.com/rider/dorian-de-maeght ,

today. He achieved what uncountable Belgian young men dream about: he‘s at the startline of GW, and will ride against van Aert & Co. tomorrow.

Good to have these guys in the peloton (if they have handling skills and do not endanger the others)…

This Bingoal team makes these dreams come true, year after year… :)
 
It looks like a lot of rain, but not so much wind.

I don't expect too much of Van Aert, Küng and Ganna today, because they went deep two days ago. That makes it very open. For Philipsen, De Lie, Merlier and Pedersen this is an opportunity. I'm curious what last year's winner Girmay can do. The season of confirmation is often tough.
 
I still hope for epic conditions. Roubaix 2021 delivered, in such conditions. Always good for outsiders. Florian Vermeersch achieved podium back then.

WT classics like Wevelgem nowadays do not see any outsiders in the top ranks, sadly. No chance.

But they still stand at the startline. They race against van Aert et al.. Like playing football in an important match against Messi.
Who do you consider as outsideres in today's race? I would claim that GW usually is a good race for outsiders, and especially today. Van Aert can't be unmoved after using that much energy on Friday. And with conditions like today, it's more difficult to control the race. Should make it more possible to get clear in the right breakaway.
 
Curious if Soudal can recover some face for Lefevre.

Asgreen is a shadow of himself.

Ala should probably regroup and focus on Ardennes.

Merlier could maybe have a chance today. Unless, the race is ridden very hard or the weather playing a big role.

Lampaert and Jakobsen were good in De-Panne tbf.

Would have thought Ballerini would race today, but maybe needs to sit one out after riding both De-Panne and E3.

Senechal nowhere so far this classics campaign.

The core of their classics team is pretty "old" and seem past their best. Need a rebuild and some new blood to come through. The trouble for Lefevre is it comes at the same time that they would probably like to sign better support for Remco, if they are going to the Tour in 2024 with the ambition to win.

In other areas they have been doing really well and a rider like Schmid has been a very good signing. Winning Coppi e Bartali yesterday. His contract is up at the end of the year though and might be difficult to retain. He will have plenty of offers from other teams.
 
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Who do you consider as outsideres in today's race? I would claim that GW usually is a good race for outsiders, and especially today. Van Aert can't be unmoved after using that much energy on Friday. And with conditions like today, it's more difficult to control the race. Should make it more possible to get clear in the right breakaway.

Hmm, outsiders for me today, riders from teams like Human Powered Health, Bingoal, or Flanders-Baloise.

Van Keirsbulck. He in the meantime has a really nice palmares, but when he joined Quickstep aged 19, nearly everyone thought that van Keirsbulck would become the new Tom Boonen. I still cannot really believe that his best results in RVV and Roubaix remained 44th and 26th, respectively, until now. He however already won classics, so could be an outsider to win GW, even today…
 
You're getting it all backwards. Quickstep does Spanish stage races. It's Movistar that's the cobbled team.

Yeah, the roles have completely changed.

Since 2019 (San Sebastian), Quickstep has become a stage racing climbing team around Remco, prefering dry hot Spanish conditions.

In the meantime, this year, Movistar is very good in the Belgian classics, and has strong line-ups there.

Few weeks ago, PCT Euskaltel was best team of the day at a not so small Belgian classic race, cobbled and cold. So one could say that at the moment, sometimes, Quickstep and Euskaltel are almost equally strong in the Flemish classics. That‘s crazy somehow.

I think it has a lot to do with Remco. Lefevere developed some kind of „love“ for him, as if Remco was his own son.

Lefevere celebrated with Museeuw, with Boonen and Alaphilippe, but these were business relationships. With Remco, it‘s more intense, you can see this by Lefevere‘s tears when Remco wins.

Boonen was more Peeters‘ guy. Whenever Tom had a successful spring, Wilfried arrived five kilograms heavier than before, at the Tour of Belgium, after the after-classics holidays… ;-) (Man, could he eat… ;-) )
 

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