Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013, 23 Feb, (198 km) 1.HC

The season finally begins for fans of the classics, I hope it's not too early for a race thread.

PRELIMINARY START LIST

THE ROUTE WITH HILLS AND COBBLED SECTIONS




WINNERS LAST FIVE EDITIONS:
2012: Vanmarcke
2011: Langeveld
2010: Flecha
2009: Hushovd
2008: Gilbert

So who are the favourites? Note that there's no Radioshack or Cannondale. Without Canc and Sagan this could be one of few opportunities left for anyone else, especially since Boonen is probably not quite there yet and I suppose OPQS will ride for Terpstra/Chavanel.

My bet is the winner will come from one of these: Terpstra, Boom, Roelandts, Pozzato or Flecha. The first four have shown good form lately and I mention Flecha since he always does well here. Maybe someone from SKY can do something and after Haut Var I'm hoping for something from Hushovd. I'm not sure what Vanmarcke's form is like, hopefully he's going for a later peak this year. I expect some Belgian ProConti guys to do top 10 as well.

Some other outsiders are Gatto, GVA, Nuyens, Vansummeren, Langeveld, Offredo... Basically I have no idea but am looking forward to it anyhow, hope there will be some nice streams available.
 
There really are a lot of guys who have a shot at this.

Boom, Vanmarcke, Chavanel, Terpstra, Boonen, Stybar, Roelandts, Chainel, Hushovd, Phinney, GVA, Ladagnous, Offredo, Favilli, Pozzato, Langeveld, Matthews, EBH, Thomas, Stannard, Eisel, Degenkolb, Maaskant, Nuyens, Flecha, Boeckmans, Leukemans, Marcato, Elmiger, Haussler, Kristoff, Paolini, Turgot, Gatto, Ciolek

And thats just with a quick look at the startlist, some are obviously a long shot but this race could be very good!
 
Oct 26, 2012
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Would have said Hayman will go well but he's out after his Qatar crash.
Too much of a wimp to call it so top 5 of: GVA, Terpstra, Boom, Flecha, Roelandts. Small group sprint.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Just looked at the weather forecast. Highs of around freezing with snow flurries.:D Should be fun.

Hushovd. He needs some confidence if he's going to have any chance at P-R.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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Boom FTW, Thor and Pippo I think could also both take it with their current form. And Stybar I think could go well too, he could even be the surprise winner.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Scott SoCal said:
Just looked at the weather forecast. Highs of around freezing with snow flurries.:D Should be fun.

Hushovd. He needs some confidence if he's going to have any chance at P-R.
Than Stybar, if OPQS support him or at least let him go.
 
Boom, Vanmarcke, Chavanel, Terpstra, Hushovd, Phinney, GVA, Pozzato, EBH, Thomas, Stannard, Eisel, Degenkolb, Marcato, Gatto

The above is my shortlist of 15 for this. I am assuming it is too early for TomBo. I think it will be interesting to see how BMC go, and which rider they have as their main hope. They all seem to have started the season very well. I think this suits GVA, but Thor and Phinney are flying. Marcato might have a chance.

Wow, when you think about it, it could be anyone really. Great race in prospect.
 
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