2017 Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Feb 25th, 198.3km

It's almost time for the greatest race on the planet! Official start at 11.45 CET.

Route



The only change compared to last year is the return of the Molenberg (instead of Boembekeberg), unavailable due to road works in 2016. Finish again, for the 2nd time, on the Emile Clauslaan (uphill).

Hellingen:

1 Leberg 143.9km (950m 4,2 % - 13,8 % max)
2 Berendries 139.8km (940m 7,0 % - 12,3 % max)
3 Tenbosse 134.9km (450m 6,9 % - 8,7 % max)
4 Eikenmolen 129.4km (610m 5,9 % - 12,5 % max)
5 Muur van Geraardsbergen (kasseien) 117.6km (1100m 8,7 % - 19,8 % max)
6 Valkenberg 99.9km (540m 8,1 % - 12,8 % max)
7 Kaperij 81.3km (1000m 5,5 % - 9,0 % max)
8 Kruisberg (kasseien) 69.4km (1800m 4,8 % - 9,0 % max)
9 Taaienberg (kasseien) 59.7km (530m 6,6 % - 15,8 % max)
10 Eikenberg (kasseien) 54.4km (1200m 5,2 % - 10,0 % max)
11 Wolvenberg 51.3km (645m 7,9 % - 17,3 % max)
12 Leberg 40.9km (950m 4,2 % - 13,8 % max)
13 Molenberg (kasseien) 35.4km (463m 7,0 % - 14,2 % max)

Cobbles:

1 Haaghoek 146.9km (2000m)
2 Haaghoek 91.1km (2000m)
3 Donderij 64.7km (800m)
4 Ruiterstraat 51.2km (800m)
5 Karel Martelstraat 49.9km (1300m)
6 Holleweg 48.5km (350m)
7 Haaghoek 43.9km (2000m)
8 Paddestraat 30.5km (2300m)
9 Lippenhovestraat 27.8km (1300m)
10 Lange Munte 20.8km (2500m)

Weather

The day starts chilly with temperatures just above freezing point. Sunny in the morning, but more cloudy in the afternoon. Stays dry until the evening. 8°C max and moderate wind from the SW (mainly side/tailwind in the finale).

History



2016 | VAN AVERMAET Greg
2015 | STANNARD Ian
2014 | STANNARD Ian
2013 | PAOLINI Luca
2012 | VANMARCKE Sep
2011 | LANGEVELD Sebastian
2010 | FLECHA Juan Antonio
2009 | HUSHOVD Thor
2008 | GILBERT Philippe
2007 | POZZATO Filippo
2006 | GILBERT Philippe

Contenders

Quick-Step once again brings an incredibly strong team to Omloop, obviously led by an on-form Boonen. Stybar, Terpstra, Gilbert, Trentin,... Their tactics and strength will as usual play a big role in how the race pans out.

Will they be able to strike back from a rather disastrous classics campaign in 2016? They often did have the strength in numbers but lacked someone who could go with the very best (Omloop, E3, GW, RVV). Lefevre already announced today Quick-Step has to change tactics because nobody cooperates with them to close gaps. Instead force other teams to work by attacking early (worked perfectly in Paris-Roubaix 2014 for example).

One of the big favourites is of course the world champion Sagan. Though he already proved multiple times he doesn't need much of it to win races, the big question is, will he get more support at Bora? I don't really think so, at least not significantly.

This certainly is the case for Vanmarcke. With Van Baarle, Langeveld, Phinney and Van Asbroeck in support, he has the team to win from Omloop until Roubaix, period.

Then there's the other champion, Van Avermaet. An ankle fracture mid-November is hardly a perfect prep, but he showed good shape in Oman despite not really coming close to a stage win. He might be that little bit weaker than last year at this point.

Other strong teams to look forward to are Lotto (Benoot, Roelandts), Trek (Stuyven, Theuns) and Sky (Stannard, Rowe, Moscon).

START LIST

Prediction:

***** Sagan
**** Boonen, Van Avermaet
*** Benoot, Vanmarcke, Stannard
** Stybar, Boom, Terpstra, Rowe
* Demare, Roelandts, Stuyven, T. Martin, Naesen

Would've changed Sagan with Boonen if the weather was better.
 
Im actually genuinely excited for once about the Danes. Cort, Kragh and Valgren are all very unproved in the cobbled classics, yet talented, but I think at least one of them will do really well in the long run in these races.

Tommeke win.
 
Surprised Kristoff didn't make the stars; he is riding isn't he? :confused:

If so, he's probably the favourite for me. Decent form in Oman and coming into top shape now for a peak MSR through to PR.


edit... Ah, I forget he will be riding Kuurne the next day, which I guess will be the race he targets.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Surprised Kristoff didn't make the stars; he is riding isn't he? :confused:

If so, he's probably the favourite for me. Decent form in Oman and coming into top shape now for a peak MSR through to PR.
Check his record in this race. It's non-existant. Of course that could change, but he doesn't deserve a star.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
DFA123 said:
Surprised Kristoff didn't make the stars; he is riding isn't he? :confused:

If so, he's probably the favourite for me. Decent form in Oman and coming into top shape now for a peak MSR through to PR.
Check his record in this race. It's non-existant. Of course that could change, but he doesn't deserve a star.
Yeah, you're right. I think he just uses it as a warm up. Bit strange in a way, because its more prestigious than KBK, but I guess he's probably outright favourite for the latter.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
DFA123 said:
Surprised Kristoff didn't make the stars; he is riding isn't he? :confused:

If so, he's probably the favourite for me. Decent form in Oman and coming into top shape now for a peak MSR through to PR.
Check his record in this race. It's non-existant. Of course that could change, but he doesn't deserve a star.
I think he deserves at least one star nevertheless (without knowing whether it has come down to crashes, sickness or simply sucking as a rule of thumb in this race).

Anyways, bet365 offers 17 back for a Kristoff-win. I think I'll give it a shot, but your outlook is not the brightest to say the least. :D
 
Just sucking. He said himself he's never been good in Omloop. For some (weird) reason.

Sporza interview with Biermans (neo pro with Katusha) also quotes him saying Tony Martin is their guy and Kristoff will focus more on KBK. So I guess he kind of stopped bothering too.
 
As usual for the classics period I'll root for Boonen to win here and San Remo to cap off an outstanding career. Bring on the Taaienberg!

Either way I'd be happy with a win from guys like Trentin, Lampaert, Vanmarcke, Bystrom, Moscon, Gougeard or even Van Keirsbulck.

Cool to see Breschel and Valgren riding this as well.

Also interested to see if Claeys was just a one hit wonder or if he can perform consistently in the cobbles.
 
And at the same time, Cav' Man, Le Gorille, and Le Beau Marcel are cashing in in the Emirates. So much for the "legends" discussion that is taking place on this forum :mad: . I have so much more respect for Fons De Wolf, twice winner of this race (and a lot more, MSR, GDL) than for these clowns.

The real men are going to square off. Sagan, Boonen, GVA, Stannard come in as the favorites. If Stybar is in the mix, watch out. Benoot? That would be awesome, otherwise he'll slide down the Haimar slope another notch. I would love if Demare got a good placing, and he can do it. Young Belgian, Dutch, or Dane ftw? That would be great for the sport.
 
Tonton said:
And at the same time, Cav' Man, Le Gorille, and Le Beau Marcel are cashing in in the Emirates. So much for the "legends" discussion that is taking place on this forum :mad: . I have so much more respect for Fons De Wolf, twice winner of this race (and a lot more, MSR, GDL) than for these clowns.
Why on earth would they be here? Makes no sense. They're going to a WT stage race where they can get points and wins for their team. DD isn't even racing and LS and QS have better guys for this one.
 
I will be rooting for Benoot. Let's hope he can finally break the drought. I think that Demare could potentially surprise here. He seems in stellar shape. And finally I'll predict that Trentin will be the best QuickStep rider.
 
I am pretty excited about this. I have convinced my wife to take the kids out shoe shopping on Saturday afternoon.

As for the race, I think Vanmarcke and Boonen will go well of the established guys. I don't see GVA or Kristoff hit form yet. And I think new kids on the block like Bennot, Stuyven and Moscon could find a seat at the top table.

It should be a great race.
 
It's weird to not see Dimension Data at the start of this race. Even more, they won't ride Omloop, KBK and Dwars door Vlaanderen.

With EBH, Eisel, Thwaites, Cav and Farrar in the team, they should be doing this classics.
 
Not that I disagree with the overall sentiment of your post, but including Farrar in your list does not strengthen your argument. It is nearly two full seasons since he got a top 10 in any level of race.
 
Jan 15, 2017
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OHN and KBK are both races in which you never know what's going to happen. The main contenders for Flanders and Roubaix are not in top shape yet, and don't want to take any risk. They're perfect races for people like Vandenbergh (now in AG2R, we'll see if at last he can win), Stybar, Benoot, Teuns, Naessen, etc.

Quick Step tactics could be different this year, with an "all for Boonen" race, as he's 100% focused on these 2 months between this week and Roubaix.
 
Tonton said:
And at the same time, Cav' Man, Le Gorille, and Le Beau Marcel are cashing in in the Emirates. So much for the "legends" discussion that is taking place on this forum :mad: . I have so much more respect for Fons De Wolf, twice winner of this race (and a lot more, MSR, GDL) than for these clowns.
Expect better from a mod than fishing for bait for no reason
 

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