75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: February 29, 2020

We’ve had enough preparation races by now, so it’s time for the opening weekend of the Belgian calendar. Thirteen hills and nine cobbled sectors will take the riders from Gent to Ninove for a wet and windy final.



Cobbled sections:

**Haaghoek (161 km) [2000 m]
**Huisepontweg (130 km) [1800 m]
**Holleweg (97.7 km) [1500 m]
**Haaghoek (92.2 km) [2000 m]
**Paddestraat (83 km) [2300 m]
**Ruiterstraat (54.6 km) [800 m]
**Kerkgate (51.4 km) [1030 m]
**Jagerij (48.8 km) [800 m]
**Haaghoek (38.1 km) [2000 m]

Hills:
  1. Leberg (158 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
  2. Den Ast (124 km) [450 m; 5.5%]
  3. Katteberg (98 km) [600 m; 6%]
  4. Leberg (89 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
  5. Rekelberg (74 km) [800 m; 4%]
  6. Valkenberg (66 km) [540 m; 8.1%]
  7. Wolvenberg (54.8 km) [645 m; 7%]
  8. Molenberg (42 km) [463 m; 7%]
  9. Leberg (35 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
  10. Berendries (31 km) [940 m; 7%]
  11. Elverenberg-Vossenhol (28 km) [1,268 m; 3.6%]
  12. Muur-Kapelmuur (16.7 km) [475 m; 9.3%]
  13. Bosberg (12.8 km) [980 m; 5.8%]
These are the recent winners:

2010 Juan Antonio Flecha
2011 Sebastiaan Langeveld
2012 Sep Vanmarcke
2013 Luca Paolini
2014 Ian Stannard
2015 Ian Stannard
2016 Greg Van Avermaet
2017 Greg Van Avermaet
2018 Michael Valgren
2019 Zdenek Stybar
2020??

And the record holders with three wins each:

Ernest Sterckx (1952, 1953, 1956)
Joseph Bruyère (1974, 1975, 1980)
Peter van Petegem (1997, 1998, 2002)
 
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I think it will be similar to last year with the top 5 being composed of relatively good climbers. A strong all-rounder will win it. There is a tendency that even the most robust sprinters can not win these races.

Personally, I'm going with Teuns. We all know that his kick on short climbs is amazing but he has also developed a strong engine. The power he produced in the Andalucia time trial was very impressive.

MVDP (who most people would have picked a couple of months ago) seems to be a bit off form after a strong cyclocross season but he might be hiding his true power level or saving it for later races.

With no Lutsenko in the race, Astana should consider bringing the Bird to the race. I think he could get a top result in this kind of shape.
 
I think it will be similar to last year with the top 5 being composed of relatively good climbers. A strong all-rounder will win it. There is a tendency that even the most robust sprinters can not win these races.

Personally, I'm going with Teuns. We all know that his kick on short climbs is amazing but he has also developed a strong engine. The power he produced in the Andalucia time trial was very impressive.

MVDP (who most people would have picked a couple of months ago) seems to be a bit off form after a strong cyclocross season but he might be hiding his true power level or saving it for later races.

With no Lutsenko in the race, Astana should consider bringing the Bird to the race. I think he could get a top result in this kind of shape.
If the weather is bad I dont know if Teuns will have a chance againnst the likes of GVA and other riders for the classics. GVA inparticular also looks like he is great form after seeeing him in Algarve.

Fuglsang I think is going to Strade, the weekend after Omloop . He has only ridden Ronde once in his career, came 25th, but none of the other Belgian races except for Ardennes week.
 
If the weather is bad I dont know if Teuns will have a chance againnst the likes of GVA and other riders for the classics. GVA inparticular also looks like he is great form after seeeing him in Algarve.

Fuglsang I think is going to Strade, the weekend after Omloop . He has only ridden Ronde once in his career, came 25th, but none of the other Belgian races except for Ardennes week.

Greg doesn't like bad weather.
 
Oct 31, 2018
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5
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No love for Stybi?
He's my big favourite along with pedersen if the weather continues like this.

Anyone knows what form Vanmarcke is in?
 
Sep 26, 2015
117
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2,880
I wouldn’t be surprised if Sep Vanmarcke takes another win here. He loves the cobble sections in this race and is (silently) in great shape early this season.

GVA, Wellens, Teuns, Valgren, Teunissen, Politt, Küng, Keukeleire and Pedersen seem to be going well too.

QST will be there of course. Besides the usual suspects, watch for Sénéchal to leave his mark on this race. He's hungry.
 
I expect a showdown between the Belgians, the Danes and the cross specialists.

**** *Stybar, Van der Poel
****Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Lampaert
***Jungels, Vanmarcke, Stuyven, Naesen
**Pedersen, Wellens, Teuns
*Stannard, Valgren, Asgreen, Benoot
 
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