The Spring Classics kick off in style with an action-packed opening weekend headed by the historic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
In what the majority of Belgians consider to be the start of the cycling season proper, the best one-day riders in the world arrive in the Flanders region.
The route remains just a few metres shy of 200 kilometres but includes two further climbs bringing the tally up to 12 for 2013.
The race can still be split into three distinct sections, with the tough 'hellingen' cobbled climbs all packed into a condensed, frantic section of parcours.
The punishing route starts and ends in the city of Ghent, yet the focal point of the race will be the three passages over a central hub featuring the Haaghoek cobbles.
After the riders arrive on the Haaghoek the racing kicks off with the first of two ascents of the Leberg, the first arriving after 60km before Berendries makes a return to the race just four kilometres later.
Four further climbs pack out the first loop around Geraardsbergen including the famous Tenbosse, Eikenmolen and the Valkenburg.
Then the riders head back to Haaghoek before a pivotal loop taking in Ronse and the most selective climbs of the race. Explosive attacks are traditional on the Taaienberg, with the Eikenberg and Varent ascents likely to push things further apart.
The final section sees the riders power back north towards the finish with a run for home punctuated by sections of cobblestones. The Paddestraat, Lippenhovestraat and Lange Munte sections must all be negotiated before a grandstand finish in Ghent.
Team Sky history
This semi-classic was the scene of Juan Antonio Flecha's impressive solo victory in 2010, and tantalising near-miss a year later. Third place in 2012 capped three great years for the Spaniard. Sadly missing from the line-up through injury this time around, Mathew Hayman (2011) can also count himself among the podium finishers alongside Sports Director Servais Knaven (2000).