Here are our rapid-fire predictions for Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem men’s and women’s races. The VeloNews editorial staff will make predictions for major races throughout the season.
John Bradley, editor in chief
Picks: Greg Van Avermaet and Elizabeth Armitstead
After his near-miss at Dwars, I think Van Avermaet will save something for Gent. Also, right now, it’s just tough to bet against the guy. He’s the rider of reference so far this spring.
As for Armitstead, the only need for a detailed explanation would be if I weren’t picking her.
Spencer Powlison, news director
Picks: Fernando Gaviria and Chantal Blaak
Gaviria mis-timed his kick at Dwars door Vlaanderen, but he looked good, and more importantly, his Etixx – Quick-Step team looked amazing. I think it’s time for the classics to take on a little Latin flavor.
Come on, Lizzie, let someone else have a shot! Seriously though, Gent is more of a sprinter’s race, and I think Blaak will be a better pick for Boels in a bunch gallop.
Chris Case, managing editor
Picks: Fernando Gaviria and Lizzie Armitstead
The first-year Etixx rider has been amazing in his debut in the early classics. He went the distance in Milano-Sanremo when many doubted he could. He was there at the finish in Dwars after tackling the cobbles. He’ll get it right at the “sprinters’ classic” and stun us all.
Can’t bet against Armitstead. She is the new Vos.
Andrew Hood, European correspondent
Picks: Alexander Kristoff and Chantal Blaak
Kristoff is too big and fast to be denied his first classics win of 2016.
Blaak because Armitstead can’t win everything …
Dan Cavallari, tech editor
Picks: Peter Sagan and Lizzie Armitstead
Sagan is on the hunt for a classics win and this could be it. If it comes down to a small break and a sprint finish, Sagan’s primed for a top spot.
It seems crazy at this point to bet against Armistead. No one’s riding better than she is right now. Her commanding win at Alfredo Binda is all the reason you need to take her seriously.
Kristen Legan, associate editor
Picks: Peter Sagan and Ellen Van Dijk
Sagan has been knocking on the door of victory this season, and it’s only time before he gets his first in the rainbow jersey.
For the women, Armitstead’s reign has to come to a close sometime, and I think GW is that time. But I think Boels-Dolmans will continue the streak with another team member taking the win. Who will that be? Could be anyone. But I’m going with Van Dijk.
Dane Cash, web editor and reporter
Picks: Alexander Kristoff and Elizabeth Armitstead
Fast enough to win a bunch sprint and tough enough to handle the cobbles, the wind, and the rain, Kristoff looks like a good bet to take his first career Gent-Wevelgem win Sunday.
On the women’s side, it seems like a losing proposition picking against 2012 winner Elizabeth Armitstead right now. She has the versatility to get it done in a variety of ways in what has been an unpredictable event the past few years.