Gent-Wevelgem 2024

Strava has fixed the issue.


They didn’t change much. At least not when it comes to the climbing and cobbles.


It starts with the first combination of Baneberg, Monteberg and Kemmelbergweg. It is 93 km out and ends 34 km out.

The toughest climb of is the Kemmelberg. They do both the Kemmelberg-Belvedere (twice) and the last ascent Kemmelberg-Ossuaire (once). Below, you have the Kemmelberg-Belvedere. The first ascent is 83 km out. The second ascent is 52.5 km out.

Here is the Kemmelberg-Ossuaire. As many of you are familier with, it is the same climb. Just from the opposite direction.

Here is the finale.


Windy and a tailwind from Kemmelberg to the line. We should expect echelons ahead of the climbing climbing.

How will the race unfold?

Visma-LAB got a solid beating by Mathieu van der Poel in E3 and for Gent-Wevelgem, they are without Wout van Aert. Looking back, I just overestimated the team. Some of it was bad luck too, ie Van Baarle with a mechanical at Taainberg and Wout van Aert crashing on Paterberg.

LIDL-Trek also showed that they have stepped up. Opening up the race, and Mads + Jasper looked very good early on. They just need to stop racing as if they were the main favorites.

However, MvdP is just better than everyone else on the cobbled climbs. He can, if he will, distance everyone on the Kemmelberg-Ossuaire and try another solo victory. I think Alpecin-Deceuninck need to see how the race unfolds and take a decision. Is Mathieu in a situation, where he is on his way to a solo win, or is he in an elite group where he is the favorite to win the sprint? Then you run that scenario and let Philipsen prepare for a sprint, worst case. The problem riding solely for Philipsen will be this; can be beat Merlier, Kooij and Pedersen?


Kooij – I don’t see the team playing a large role tomorrow. It would be best just to ride for Olav Kooij.

Mathieu van der Poel – he starts as the favorite. I think he will attack on Kemmelberg-Ossuaire and likely a few times before. He must if they want to distance the sprinters. Philipsen is the best sprinter in the World but I think Merlier is getting very close. After Friday’s performance, I would rather want Mathieu van der Poel trying to build up a gap than sit and wait for bunch sprint.

Philipsen – In the opening weekend, he didn’t look very well. Then he won Milano-SanRemo just a few weeks later. Four days later, he beat almost every significant sprinter in Classic Brugge-De Panne. He should start as the favorite among the sprinters-

Girmay – He was strong on Friday. It seems his shape is getting better and better. A top-10.

Merlier – he fancies a bit of cobbles. Gent-Wevelgem doesn’t have too many of them. In 2022, he was second in the bunch sprint. In 2023, he was with an elite group of chasers too. He is a podium contender, and probably the biggest threat to Philipsen.

Pedersen – Trek Rider #1. His best chance is just trying to follow Mathieu van der Poel.

Stuyven – Trek Rider #2. Stuyven is looking very good just now. He was one of the strongest in E3. I do wonder if he can follow Mathieu van der Poel? I doubt it.

Pithie – he packs a good sprint after a tough day.

De Lie – I’m not sure he has fully recovered. 51st in E3 is not impressive for his standards.

Trentin – another top-10 for the collection.

Who will win?

When Visma-Lab, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Soudal Quick-Step and LIDL-Trek in some ways all will be content with a sprint in Wevelgem, I think we will see one.

I think it is difficult looking past Jasper Philipsen just now.

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