Belgian classic cycle race, currently run on a Wednesday in April during the week between the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix The event was not deemed worthy of World Cup status but is currently a counting race towards the UCI ProTour. The race was first run in 1934 and - the war years apart - has been run annually ever since.

The race is one of the Flemish season-within-a-season of cobbled classics that liven up the cycling fan's early spring. Within the constraints of starting in Ghent (traditionally in the Citadelpark but moved in 2003 to the outlying suburb of Deinze) and finishing in Wevelgem, on the outskirts of Kortrijk, the course has varied somewhat over the years, but the current version is just over 200 km, heading west to Ostend and down the coast to the Westhoek area where it loops around over the small hills close to the French border, the Rode Berg and the Mont Noir, and usually a couple of times up the 20% cobbled climb of the Kemmelberg on the end of the Messines Ridge with its equally abrupt (and dangerously bumpy) descent, before a 30 km flat run-in across the bleak landscape between Ieper and Menen.

The climbs are usually enough to shed the weaker riders, and crosswinds on the long exposed sections can often split the race into echelons, but the flat finale means that this race has often been one for the sprinters, although the last few times it has been a sprint from a small group rather than the whole field together. Nonetheless the list of winners features most of the best roadman-sprinters of the last half century. The best performers are Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx and Mario Cipollini, with three wins apiece.


Winners

1934 Gustave Van Belle (Belgium)
1935 Albert Debreitere (Belgium)
1936 Robert Van Eenaeme (Belgium)
1937 Robert Van Eenaeme (Belgium)
1938 Hubert Godart (Belgium)
1939 André Declerck (Belgium)
1945 Robert Van Eenaeme (Belgium)
1946 Ernest Sterckx (Belgium)
1947 Maurice Desempelaere (Belgium)
1948 Valeré Ollivier (Belgium)
1949 Marcel Kint (Belgium)
1950 Alberic Schotte (Belgium)
1951 André Rossel (Belgium)
1952 Raymond Impanis (Belgium)
1953 Raymond Impanis (Belgium)
1954 Rolf Graf (Switzerland)
1955 Alberic Schotte (Belgium)
1956 Rik Van Looy (Belgium)
1957 Rik Van Looy (Belgium)
1958 Noél Fore (Belgium)
1959 Leon Van Daele (Belgium)
1960 Frans Aerenhouts (Belgium)
1961 Frans Aerenhouts (Belgium)
1962 Rik Van Looy (Belgium)
1963 Benoni Beheyt (Belgium)
1964 Jacques Anquetil (France)
1965 Noél De Pauw (Belgium)
1966 Herman Vanspringel (Belgium)
1967 Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
1968 Walter Godefroot (Belgium)
1969 Willy Vekenmans (Belgium)
1970 Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
1971 Georges Pintens (Belgium)
1972 Roger Swerts (Belgium)
1973 Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
1974 Barry Hoban (Great Britain)
1975 Freddy Maertens (Belgium)
1976 Freddy Maertens (Belgium)
1977 Bernard Hinault (France)
1978 Ferdinand Van den Haute (Belgium)
1979 Francesco Moser (Italy)
1980 Henk Lubberding (Netherlands)
1981 Jan Raas (Netherlands)
1982 Frank Hoste (Belgium)
1983 Teun Van Vliet (Netherlands)
1984 Guido Bontempi (Italy)
1985 Eric Vanderaerden (Belgium)
1986 Guido Bontempi (Italy)
1987 Teun Van Vliet (Netherlands)
1988 Sean Kelly (Ireland)
1989 Gerrit Solleveld (Netherlands)
1990 Herman Frison (Belgium)
1991 Djamolidine Abduzhaparov (Uzbekistan)
1992 Mario Cipollini (Italy)
1993 Mario Cipollini (Italy)
1994 Wilfried Peeters (Belgium)
1995 Lars Michaelsen (Denmark)
1996 Tom Steels (Belgium)
1997 Philippe Gaumont (France)
1998 Frank Vandenbroucke (Belgium)
1999 Tom Steels (Belgium)
2000 Geert van Bondt (Belgium)
2001 George Hincapie (USA)
2002 Mario Cipollini (Italy)
2003 Andreas Klier (Germany)
2004 Tom Boonen (Belgium)
2005 Nico Mattan (Belgium)
2006 Thor Hushovd (Norway)
2007 Markus Burghardt (Germany)
2008 Oscar Freire (Spain)
2009 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)

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