The cobbled Classics are steeped in as much prestige and history as the Grand Tours of cycling, and offer the chance for the bigger, more explosive riders a chance to write their name into the annals of cycling legend.

2017, like any year, will see an exciting spring campaign fought out between some of the world’s toughest riders. It will also be the last chance to see Classics great Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) battle it out on the roads of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix for the final time before retirement.

But there’s more to the cobbled Classics than Flanders and Roubaix. Riders begin a long build-up to the two monuments from late February, as cycling’s one-day specialists flock to Belgium for an opening double header of semi-Classics, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and one usually for the sprinters, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

The cobbles then traditionally take a break through most of March, as riders head to the likes of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as the first monument of the year, Milan-San Remo (March 18).

The cobbled Classics then come thick and fast with three in a week. The semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen kicks it all off, and is generally the closest thing riders will come to the Tour of Flanders ahead of the race itself, with the course often including many of the same bergs, oudes and muurs like the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.

It’s then on to the two Classics E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem, which usually feature Friday and Sunday, the week before riders take on the Ronde.

Wevelgem, like the Scheldeprijs which sits on the Wednesday between Flanders and Roubaix, is one of the Belgian Classics that favours sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel, featuring fewer bergs than other Classics.

The 2017 Cobbled Classics

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Feb 25 (WorldTour) | Winner: Greg Van Avermaet | Report
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Feb 26 (1.HC) | Winner: Peter Sagan | Report
Dwars door Vlaanderen, Mar 22 (1.1) | Winner: Yves Lampaert | Report
E3 Harelbeke, Mar 24 (WorldTour) | Winner: Greg Van Avermaet | Report
Ghent-Wevelgem, Mar 26 (WorldTour) | Winner: Greg Van Avermaet | Report
Tour of Flanders, Apr 2 (WorldTour) | Winner: Philippe Gilbert | Report
Scheldeprijs, Apr 5 (1.HC)
Paris-Roubaix, Apr 9 (WorldTour)