E3 Harelbeke

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E3 Harelbeke
E3 Harelbeke logo.svg
Race details
Date Mid-March
Region Flanders, Belgium
English name E3 Harelbeke
Local name(s) E3 Harelbeke (Dutch)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI Europe Tour (2005–2011)
UCI World Tour (2012–)
Type One-day
First edition 1958 (1958)
Editions 57 (as of 2014)
First winner  Armand Desmet (BEL)
Most wins  Tom Boonen (BEL) (5 wins)
Most recent  Geraint Thomas (GBR)

The E3 Harelbeke is an annual cycling race in the Flanders area of Belgium. The race starts and finishes in Harelbeke over 210 kilometres. The event is organised by the Hand in Hand Cycling Club of Harelbeke and is on the UCI World Tour calendar.

It is used as preparation race for the Tour of Flanders. The route is shorter but many of the climbs are tackled. The conditions are also comparable as cobbles, wind and climbs decimate the bunch. The route takes a large lap around East Flanders including 12 hills. Some riders[who?] even prefer this race instead of the tactical, but more prestigious Tour of Flanders.

The E3 takes place on mid-March and marks the start of Vlaamse Wielerweek, a week of cycling which continues with the Brabantse Pijl on the Sunday and the Driedaagse van De Panne stage race midweek before the Tour of Flanders on the following Sunday. Until 2011, the race was held on a Saturday; when the race was upgraded to World Tour status in 2012, the race moved to the Friday to have a day of rest between the E3 race and World Tour race Gent–Wevelgem, held on Sunday.[1]


The first E3 Prijs Vlaanderen took place in 1958 although there had been similar events in the area since 1955. In the early days the event was named Harelbeke-Anvers-Harelbeke. It has also been known as the GP E3 Harelbeke. The race took its name from the E3 motorway (now A14) built in the mid-sixties.[2] From the 54th edition in 2011 on the word Prijs has been removed from its name and the cycling race is now known as E3 Harelbeke.


The race starts from Harelbeke's Grote Markt and travels east, the first 110 km flat with cobbles around Oudenaarde and Zottegem. The riders reach the most easterly point at Ninove after 85 km and after swinging west and going through Geraardsbergen and Brakel, the tough part begins with a succession of short, sharp climbs some of which are cobbled as the race loops between Ronse and Oudenaarde.

The 12 hills in order are La Houppe, Berg Stene, Boigneberg, Eikenberg, Stationsberg, Taaienberg, Oude Kruikens, Kapelberg, Patersberg, Oude Kwaremont, Knokteberg and Tiegemberg. The Paterberg is a cobbled 500m climb that averages 12.5% while the Oude Kwaremont is cobbled for 1500m of its 2200m although its gradient averages 4.2%. The Tiegemberg is 16 km from the finish.

Records and statistics[edit]

Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen holds the record for the most wins in the race with five victories, coming in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012. Rik Van Looy won the race four times in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969, and Dutchman Jan Raas took three successive victories between 1979 and 1981 after finishing second in 1978. Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara has also won the race three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Andrei Tchmil and Johan Museeuw have won it twice. The fastest race was in 2003 when Dutchman Steven De Jongh won at an average speed of 45.9 km/h.

Past winners[edit]

Rider Team
1958 Belgium Desmet, ArmandArmand Desmet (BEL) Groene Leeuw-Leopold
1959 Belgium Kerckhove, NorbertNorbert Kerckhove (BEL) Faema-Guerra
1960 Belgium Doom, DanielDaniel Doom (BEL) Wiel's-Flandria
1961 Belgium Cabooter, Arthur DeArthur De Cabooter (BEL) Groene Leeuw-SAS-Sinalco
1962 Belgium Messelis, AndreAndré Messelis (BEL) Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1963 Belgium Fore, NoelNoël Foré (BEL) Faema-Flandria
1964 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Solo-Superia
1965 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Solo-Superia
1966 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Solo-Superia
1967 Belgium Bocklant, WillyWilly Bocklant (BEL) Flandria-De Clerck
1968 Belgium Boever, Jaak DeJaak De Boever (BEL) Smiths
1969 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Willem II-Gazelle
1970 Belgium Ryckeghem, Daniel VanDaniel Van Ryckeghem (BEL) Mann-Grundig
1971 Belgium Vlaeminck, Roger DeRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Flandria-Mars
1972 Belgium Hutsebaut, HubertHubert Hutsebaut (BEL) Goldor-IJsboerke
1973 Belgium Int Ven, WillyWilly In 't Ven (BEL) Molteni
1974 Belgium Springel, Herman VanHerman Van Springel (BEL) MIC-Ludo-De Gribaldy
1975 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL) Maes-Watney
1976 Belgium Planckaert, WalterWalter Planckaert (BEL) Maes-Rokado
1977 Germany Thurau, DietrichDietrich Thurau (GER) TI-Raleigh
1978 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria-Velda-Lano
1979 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) TI-Raleigh
1980 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) TI-Raleigh
1981 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) TI-Raleigh
1982 Belgium Bogaert, JanJan Bogaert (BEL) Europ Decor
1983 Belgium Tackaert, WilliamWilliam Tackaert (BEL) Splendor-Euroshop
1984 Netherlands Oosterbosch, BertBert Oosterbosch (NED) Panasonic-Raleigh
1985 Australia Anderson, PhilPhil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic-Raleigh
1986 Belgium Vanderaerden, EricEric Vanderaerden (BEL) Panasonic-Merckx-Agu
1987 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL) Panasonic-Isostar
1988 Italy Bontempi, GuidoGuido Bontempi (ITA) Carrera Jeans-Vagabond
1989 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL) ADR-Coors Light
1990 Denmark Lilholt, SorenSoren Lilholt (DNK) Histor-Sigma
1991 Germany Ludwig, OlafOlaf Ludwig (GER) Panasonic-Sportlife
1992 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Lotto-Mavic-MBK
1993 Italy Cipollini, MarioMario Cipollini (ITA) GB-MG Maglificio
1994 Belgium Tchmil, AndreiAndrei Tchmil (BEL) Lotto
1995 Belgium Leysen, BartBart Leysen (BEL) Mapei-GB-Latexco
1996 Belgium Bomans, CarloCarlo Bomans (BEL) Mapei-GB
1997 Belgium Dijck, Hendrik VanHendrik Van Dijck (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
1998 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Mapei-Bricobi
1999 Belgium Petegem, Peter VanPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
2000 Russia Ivanov, SergeiSergei Ivanov (RUS) Farm Frites
2001 Belgium Tchmil, AndreiAndrei Tchmil (BEL) Lotto-Adecco
2002 Italy Pieri, DarioDario Pieri (ITA) Alessio
2003 Netherlands Jongh, Steven deSteven de Jongh (NED) Rabobank
2004 Belgium Boonen, TomTom Boonen (BEL) Quick Step-Davitamon
2005 Belgium Boonen, TomTom Boonen (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic
2006 Belgium Boonen, TomTom Boonen (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic
2007 Belgium Boonen, TomTom Boonen (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic
2008 Norway Arvesen, Kurt AsleKurt Asle Arvesen (NOR) Team CSC
2009 Italy Pozzato, FilippoFilippo Pozzato (ITA) Team Katusha
2010 Switzerland Cancellara, FabianFabian Cancellara (SUI) Team Saxo Bank
2011 Switzerland Cancellara, FabianFabian Cancellara (SUI) Leopard Trek
2012 Belgium Boonen, TomTom Boonen (BEL) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
2013 Switzerland Cancellara, FabianFabian Cancellara (SUI) RadioShack-Leopard
2014 Slovakia Sagan, PeterPeter Sagan (SVK) Cannondale
2015 United Kingdom Thomas, GeraintGeraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky


  1. ^ "E3 Harelbeke eerste Vlaamse Worldtourwedstrijd volgend seizoen op vrijdag 23 maart" (in Dutch). Nieuwsblad. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Spring Classics: How to win cycling's hardest one-day races". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 

External links[edit]