This weekend (the 28th of March) is the running of the 72nd Gent-Wevelgem classic race in Belgium and a little bit of France.
At 220K it won’t be a massive day in the saddle like last weekends Milan San-Remo but this course has 16 classified climbs along with plenty of rolling roads along the course. They come in close succession and are sure to break riders and split the peloton into groups who will then have around 35K to chase everything back and race for the line.
Many of the climbs are cobbled and the descents steep and dangerous. The first time I saw this race was 2008 when on the Kemmelberg descent a stray bottle caused Jimmy Caspar to hit the deck, mainly with his face, a few others came down alongside him and this really makes you realise how dangerous cycling can be. The race of course went on and Oscar Freire who’s just won the Milan San-Remo took first place.
Last year our office favourite Boasson Hagen took the honours in his Columbia kit, Boonen is a sure favourite and he’ll be wanting to show some good form the weekend before Flanders.
Action is never far away in this race, and it provides us with another afternoon of entertaining TV and an excuse to watch someone else do the work for a change, keep an eye out for our race predictions later in the week…Classics racing isn’t for softies, the hard-men of cycling will shine through on the day – which is often wet, cold and miserable.
Boonen won it in 2004, can he do it again?