Mathieu van der Poel favorite of the Tour of Flanders, the French without great illusions. Tadej Pogacar absent (outgoing winner focused this year on conquering the Giro) and Wout Van Aert on a hospital bed.

Jasper Stuyven also broke his collarbone on Wednesday and Mads Pedersen, scratched and bruised, also left some feathers. If he wins, he will join Achiel Buysse, Fiorenzo Magni, Eric Leman, Johan Museeuw, Tom Boonen and Fabio Cancellara.