Friday the 55th edition of the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke is scheduled with start and finish in Harelbeke. The first Belgian WorldTour race of the season is for many classic riders a first big appointment to measure their strength against their opponents. Last year the race developed atypically and in the bunch sprint Tom Boonen won the E3 for the fifth time. Jürgen Roelandts will be the man who will play his part for Lotto Belisol.
The riders will make a loop of 211 kilometers through the East-Flemish hill section and will have to conquer fifteen hills. Traditionally the first selection is made on the Taaienberg and the final really begins on the Paterberg. Besides the course the E3 also hardly has an inferior start list compared to the Tour of Flanders. The names that are mentioned most to be applying for the prize are Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan. Jürgen Roelandts elucidates if he’s a member of the circle of top favourites.
Jürgen Roelandts: “For me important weeks are coming up with races I definitely want to score in. The E3-Prijs tomorrow is an interval race and that suits me, two years ago I even got second in that race. After I had to miss the first months of the season last year because of an injury I now really want to show that I am on an even higher level. The teammates are also very motivated to work for me this year, which really boosts my confidence.”
“Every year the race explodes on the Taaienberg. We will have to be in front with as many teammates as possible, because it is very difficult to come back afterwards. The E3-Prijs is also a chance for me to measure my strength against the best classic riders of the moment like Boonen, Cancellara and Sagan. I don’t have any nuisance anymore after the tough race and my crash in Milan – Sanremo, the legs will definitely be okay.”