Last year, we made a groundbreaking course change, swapping the Kwaremont for the nippy cobbled section of Mont St.-Laurent in le Pays Des Collines. For this edition – apart from some limited diversions due to roadworks – there are hardly any changes to the route the riders will follow.

What is certain is that the Hainaut triptych of Hameau des Papins, Le Bourliquet and Mont St.-Laurent, along with the subsequent finale which includes the Hotond, the Cöte de Trieu orte de Knokteberg and the Kluisberg could play a significant role in the course of the race. It makes it curiously watchful to see who will write this opening weekend classic on its name.

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