E3 Harelbeke is the first world tour race of the 2.5 week long cobbled classics season. With its first edition dating back to 1958, E3 Harelbeke is a 210 kilometers long course that starts and finishes in Harelbeke, located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The race, originally named Harelbeke-Anvers-Harelbeke, takes it name from the E3 motorway that was built in mid sixties.
Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen holds the record for most wins with 5 victories followed by Rik Van Looy (4) and Jan Raas (3). More recently Fabian Cancellara won the race back to back in 2010 and 2011 and Filippo Pozzato was victorious in 2009.