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Watch out for these 13 riders as cobbles season goes full-speed on Friday

  • By Neal Rogers
  • Published Mar. 21, 2013
  • Updated Mar. 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM EDT
Mark Cavendish is the man to watch in Sunday's Ghent-Wevelgem and the GP Scheldeprijs. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

Pure sprinters

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.

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Neal Rogers

Neal Rogers

Neal Rogers is editor in chief of Velo magazine and VeloNews.com. An interest in all things rock 'n' roll led him into music journalism while attending UC Santa Cruz, on the central coast of California. After several post-grad years spent waiting tables, surfing, and mountain biking, he moved to San Francisco, working as a bike messenger, and at a software startup. He moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 2001, taking an editorial internship at VeloNews. He never left. When not traveling the world covering races, he can be found riding his bike, skiing, or attending a concert.

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