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essential info for the opening weekend cobbled – Rouleur

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2022

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2023:

Date: Saturday February 25, 2023 
Start: Gent, Flanders 
Finish: Ninove, Flanders 
Total distance: 207km (men), 132.2km (women)
Defending champion: Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a men’s and women’s one-day race held in Belgium and is the first WorldTour race to be held in Europe. The men’s race first began in 1945 and has become the opening of the Flanders Classics season. Starting in Ghent and finishing in Ninove, the route covers the hills of the Flemish Ardennes and includes the iconic cobbled streets of Belgium. 

Its early start in the racing calendar means that the one-day race is often associated with cold weather – a contrast to earlier WorldTour races in the Middle East and Australia. Over the years, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has been moved or cancelled due to bad weather and now the race organisers keep a close eye on the forecasts and will make any changes to the route if they feel it is necessary. 

Only three riders have won the cobbled race three times: Ernest Sterckx (1952, 1953 and 1956), Joseph Bruyère (1974, 1975 and 1980), and Peter Van Petegem (1997, 1998 and 2002). It’s not too much of a surprise that almost all the record holders for winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad more than once have come from Belgium. Out of the 77 races held so far in its history, 58 of those who have taken the title have been from the race’s home country. British rider Ian Stannard was the only non-Belgium rider to make it onto the honours list for winning the race on more than one occasion. 

The defending champion is Wout van Aert from Jumbo-Visma, who last year crossed the finish line solo having attacked with 12km to go. But it’s said that Van Aert will skip the opening Classics race this year as he has his sights set on other Classics races he is yet to win. 

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad men’s teams:

  • Team Flanders – Baloise 
  • Human Powered Health
  • Lotto dstny 
  • TotalEnergies 
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 
  • Bingoal WB 
  • Isreal Premier-Tech 
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • AG2R Citroën Team 
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck 
  • Astana Qazaqstan 
  • Bahrain-Victorious 
  • Cofidis 
  • EF Education-EasyPost
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers 
  • Intermarché-Circus-Wanty 
  • Jumbo-Visma
  • Movistar 
  • Soudal Quick-Step
  • Team Arkéa Samsic
  • Jayco AlUla
  • Team DSM 
  • Trek-Segafredo

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad route: 

The men’s route is 207km long, with 12 climbs and eight cobblestone sections. The first climb comes after 40km of racing on the Leberg in Elst….

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