Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step): Though he’s a three-time winner at Scheldeprijs, Cavendish has never won Ghent-Wevelgem; riding for a Belgian team, he’ll aim to win both this year. His ninth-place finish at Milano-Sanremo, which followed four stage wins and the overall victory at the Tour of Qatar, shows that the Manxman is on form again in 2013. Don’t expect him to take the start at Harelbeke, Flanders, or Roubaix, however, as Cavendish will steer clear of the crashes and chaos of the cobbles in order to stay healthy for his main objective come July.
Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano): The winner at a wet and wild Scheldeprijs last year, Kittel has won two sprints this year, one at the Tour of Oman and one at Paris-Nice. A poor climber, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Kittel won’t bother with the hellingen of Flanders and will only start the semi-classic around Antwerp, opting to skip Roubaix for the second year running.
FILED UNDER: Analysis / Road TAGS: Classics / E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke / Fabian Cancellara / Filippo Pozzato / Geraint Thomas / Ghent-Wevelgem / Ian Stannard / John Degenkolb / Marcel Kittel / Mark Cavendish / Paris-Roubaix / Peter Sagan / Philippe Gilbert / Scheldeprijs / Sylvain Chavanel / Taylor Phinney / Thor Hushovd / Three Days of Panne / Tom Boonen / Tour of Flanders