Does anyone else feel that Ghent-Wevelgem’s move to the Sunday before Flanders has left a gaping hole in the middle of the week between the Ronde and Roubaix?
Ghent-Wevelgem used to be the perfect mid-Monument event, keeping the excitement high, the anticipation peaked, and offering the possibility for some intense racing from those teams to have missed the mark Sunday. Instead we get the Scheldeprijs, a relatively lackluster race run over generally flat roads that almost always produces a field sprint. Yes, the start list is impressive, but many of the favorites for Sunday will either abandon or spend the day as pack fill.
So here’s my proposal: switch them. Return Ghent-Wevelgem to its rightful Wednesday place and move the Scheldeprijs to the Sunday before the Ronde. Doing so would protect the quality of the field in the E3 Prijs, while giving teams a better second option Sunday. No more roster conflicts, no more tough decision for director sportifs. But most importantly, it would maintain the excitement from the Ronde all the way through Roubaix without a lull or anti-climax.
And who knows? With the Scheldeprijs on a Sunday, people might actually watch it.