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Gent–Wevelgem 2018 odds

Who wins Gent–Wevelgem 2018?

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Gent-Wevelgem 2018

The 2018 Gent-Wevelgem is a road cycling one day UCI World Tour race, taking place on Sunday the 25th March. It is one of the four Belgian races that form the Belgian Flemish Cycle Week, joined by Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders. With the race coming just before the Tour of Flanders, which is the monument race on the Belgian cycling calendar, Gent-Wevelgem provides riders with the opportunity to prepare themselves for the cobbled streets and Flemish hills associated with Belgian racing.

The current winner of the race is Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet, who beat Jens Keukeleire in the final sprint to take the  2017 crown. Rounding off the podium was another favourite and the winner in 2016, Slovakian rider Peter Sagan.

The Gent-Wevelgem race

Unlike the Tour of Flanders, E3 Harelbeke and Dwars door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem is more suited for sprinters than climbers. It’s often called the sprinters’ classic, mainly because of its flat finish. However, the riders will still have to contend with several climbs, the notorious cross winds, and the occasional section of cobbled streets, all of which make the race particularly fast-paced and entertaining.

The most notable challenge on the route is the ascent of the fully cobbled and steep Kemmelberg. This climb has become the centrepiece of the race, and the gradient near the top reaches 23%! The Kemmelberg is also equally infamous for its tricky and technical descent.

The Gent-Wevelgem route takes the riders west into West Flanders and Northern France. The first 100 km will be a tough section of open plains where the peloton is often exposed to cross winds and rain, both of which can prove very tricky. Teams normally try to protect their sprinters and main riders during the early stages of the race, which give other teams opportunities to attack and break away from the main peloton.

Following the ascent of the Kemmelberg, the main battle for victory begins.

Where the race will be won

After the Kemmelberg climb, the peloton will race a flat 35 km to the finish. Any groups who have broken away at this stage will be hard to chase down, and the unpredictable terrain of Gent-Wevelgem has previously resulted in break away groups having held off the pursuing pack. If the peloton can catch the break away groups, it will result in a bunch sprint finish. Very few Gent-Wevelgem’s have ended in a sprint finish so, despite its reputation as a sprinters race, you can expect a small group of attackers to challenge for the title.

Joining BMC Racing’s Greg Van Avermaet as a favourite is Peter Sagan (BORA - Hansgrohe). Both previous winners will fancy their chances once more. They will be joined by the likes of Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Edvald Boasson Hagan (Dimension Data), Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and Sep Vanmarcke (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale).