Vandenbroucke has preferred to race on Sunday in the Fourmies grand prix in France, leaving Museeuw to fly the Belgian flag and hope for his first ever win in this 247.3km race.
More than 200 riders will compete despite the rivalry of the Tour of Spain which runs from Sept 7 to 29.
This classic between the two capitals tends to be won by sprinters as there are no great climbs, though the cote Alsemberg is a major obstacle for tiring riders at the 215km mark.
Denmark's Rolf Soerensen goes for his third victory, having won in 1992 and then finishing alone in 1994.
France's Francis Moreau (GAN), who won in 1993 exactly 30 years after the last Frenchman to win -- Jean Stablinski -- will yet again carry French hopes for a repeat win.
This Franco-Belgian race, one of the oldest classics on the international calendar, takes place on a Saturday this year and not its usual Wednesday slot as has happened up to now.
The race will also start from Soissons and not the usual Noyon, and the closing stages will be run on a local 8.4km circuit around the Constant Vanden Stock stadium at Anderlecht, one of Brussels' most popular areas.
1. Andrea Tafi (Italy) Mapei-GB 6.15.00 2. Johan Museeuw (Belgium) Mapei-GB 1:51 3. Michele Bartoli (Italy) MG-Technogym 4. Andrei Tchmile (Ukraine) Lotto both s.t. 5. Johan Capiot (Belgium) Collstrop 2:09 6. Wilfried Peeters (Belgium) Mapei-GB 2:18 7. Lars Michaelsen (Denmark) Festina-Lotus 8. Franco Ballerini (Italy) Mapei-GB 9. Rolf Sorensen (Denmark) Rabobank all s.t. 10. Nico Eeckhout (Belgium) Collstrop 8:01 11. Frank Corvers (Bel) Lotto 7.08 12. Hans de Meester (Bel) Palmans 7.10 13. Lucien de Louw (Ned) Foreldorado 10.10 14. Jans Koerts (Ned) Palmans 11.07 15. Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank s.t. 16. Dennis Moons (Bel) 17. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx (Bel) 18. Mario De Clercq (Bel) 19. Adriano Baffi (Ita) 20. Ronny Assez (Bel) all s.t.
It was the biggest victory as a professional for the 30-year-old Tafi, a helper or ``domestique'' in the powerful Belgo-Italian Mapei-GB outfit which dominated the race.
Belgian Johan Museeuw, Mapei-GB's leading rider in one-day races, edged out Italian Michele Bartoli and Ukrainean Andrei Tchmile in a three-man sprint to take second place, nearly two minutes behind.
Museeuw and his team mates, Italian Franco Ballerini and Belgian Wilfried Peeters, cut out every attempt by Bartoli, Tchmile and Dane Rolf Sorensen, winner here in 1992 and 1994, to catch Tafi after his escape.
`I want to thank Museeuw for what he did for me,'' Tafi said. World Cup leader Museeuw said he would have preferred to win himself.
``But if you can offer victory to someone like Tafi, it's a pleasure,'' he said. ``Everything went according to plan, he escaped and it was up to us to paralyse everthing.''
``We are simply the strongest team in one-day races,'' said Museeuw, who has his sights set on retaining his World Cup title.