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Editor’s Picks: Who will win E3 Harelbeke?

E3 Harelbeke takes on the hellengen and bergs of Flanders. VeloNews experts name their favorites to win Friday's WorldTour showdown.

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Here are our rapid-fire predictions for Friday’s E3 Harelbeke. The VeloNews editorial staff will make predictions for major races throughout the season.

John Bradley, editor in chief
Pick: Alexander Kristoff

He’s been building steadily for the past couple of months, quietly in the mix in a lot of finales, and I think he’d like to head into Flanders and Roubaix with a win under his belt.

Spencer Powlison, news director
Pick: Greg Van Avermaet

Did you watch Dwars door Vlaanderen? Van Avermaet was one hellingen away from his second classics win of the spring. E3 is a touch harder than Dwars, which bodes well for BMC’s versatile Belgian.

Chris Case, managing editor
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

Spartacus is on a mission to go out with a bang. In the truest dress rehearsal for De Ronde, he’ll cement his legendary status.

Andrew Hood, European correspondent
Pick: Peter Sagan

He’s overdue, and he will finally ride everyone off his wheel.

Dan Cavallari, tech editor
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

He’s hungry for classics wins in his final year, and he looked strong at Milano-Sanremo. I could see Sagan on the top step here, but if Cancellara’s gearing up for a big win at Ronde van Vlaanderen, this would be a good proving ground for him.

Gregor Brown, reporter
Pick: Greg Van Avermaet

Van Avermaet found the winning edge. He fired in late February to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and showed the tactical nuance needed to win Tirreno-Adriatico’s stage to Cepagatti, and by doing so, paved the way to the overall title. How will it happen Friday? He won’t play around as he did with his Dwars door Vlaanderen solo attack, instead, he will work away with a favorite like Sagan and strike in the final meters into Harelbeke.

Kristen Legan, associate editor
Pick: Greg Van Avermet

He has had a strong season so far and with tragedy striking Brussels this week, the Belgian will have some fire burning in his heart that will power him across the line first.

Dane Cash, web editor and reporter
Pick: Greg Van Avermaet

After years of coming oh-so-close to a big classics win, Van Avermaet looks ready for action this spring. He already seems to have shaken some of his reputation as a “nearly man” with a collection of nice wins over the last year or so, and E3 Harelbeke gives him the perfect opportunity to deliver a WorldTour one-day result. The Flanders-esque parcours favors a late attack, and few people do that better than Van Avermaet. The 30-year-old also packs a nice sprint, which should put him over the top if he rolls into Harelbeke with a small group of escapees.

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