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Power rankings: 10 top riders for Tour of Flanders

Belgium's biggest bike race is Sunday, Tour of Flanders. Here are the 10 top riders you should keep an eye on in De Ronde.

Belgium’s biggest cycling event, Ronde van Vlaanderen is this Sunday — it is the race that each and every classics rider yearns to win. Who are you picking to win the 260-kilometer romp across the famed climbs of Flanders? Here is our list of 10 favorites that will likely be key players in the Tour of Flanders.

10. Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac)

Can Cannondale-Drapac’s Sep Vanmarcke rediscover the form that helped him finish third at Omloop in February? Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

9. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal)

Tiesj Benoot, 23, stunned the Belgian faithful with a fifth place in 2015 Tour of Flanders. What can he do this year? Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

8. Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale)

Ag2r La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen has a hot hand, riding to a gritty third-place result in E3 Harelbeke. Did he get lucky, or is he peaking at the perfect moment, ready to make a splash at De Ronde? Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

7. Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors)

Riding in his final Tour of Flanders, Belgian legend Tom Boonen will want to go out on top. But so far this spring, his best result was a modest sixth at Gent-Wevelgem. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

6. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin)

Alexander Kristoff, winner of Flanders in 2015, didn’t come raging into the spring classics this year, but with a win in stage 2 of Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, the Norwegian may be on an upward trajectory. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

5. Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott)

Belgian Jens Keukeleire rode to second place in Gent-Wevelgem behind Greg Van Avermaet. Not only was the result impressive, but the Orica-Scott rider’s strength was apparent as he helped drive the winning move and fend off a charging peloton of top sprinters. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

4. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

The winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2015, John Degenkolb is showing glimmers of his old self, sprinting to fifth at Gent-Wevelgem. The German might be able to surprise the outright favorites, especially with support from a strong Trek-Segafredo squad. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

3. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors)

Once thought of as a man strictly for the hilly Ardennes, former world champion Philippe Gilbert is back on the cobblestones after a five-year hiatus. The Belgian champion doesn’t seem to have missed a beat, winning Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde with a breakaway on the Muur, the iconic cobbled climb now back in the Flanders route to the delight of fans and riders alike. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

The two-time world champion is flying this spring, riding to second in Milano-Sanremo and third at Gent-Wevelgem. Peter Sagan keeps getting played by tricky team tactics, however. Will his brute strength be enough to defend the Flanders title that he won with panache last season? Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)

Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet can do no wrong this spring. He is coming off of two wins in a row at E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. Can he win the big one, when it really counts on Sunday? Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com