Cycling News

Saturday Roundup: Double Success for Visma in Omloop

16th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 - Women’s Elite

Marianne Vos delivered Visma-Lease a Bike its sweep of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, about an hour after Jan Tratnik took the men’s event in a two-up sprint over Nils Politt. That was fun enough, but for Vos, the day was purely magical, and a chance for Visma to flip the script.

After a decade of being the hunted, late-career Vos has become the hunter, a veteran forbear for the new generation of young stars. Like Lotte Kopecky, for example, the Belgian star who is currently decked out in rainbow stripes for the powerful SD Worx team — the Visma of the women’s peloton. Vos cleverly sniffed out the ambitions of Lidl-Trek, who had Elisa Longo Borghini up the road after the Vossenhol, where the Italian champ caught the day’s breakaway before heading up the Muur van Geraardsbergen in the lead. After the expected carnage, the four-rider break emerged with Kopecky, Vos, and Longo Borghini’s young teammate Shirin van Anrooij, the cyclocross star who was a late substitute.

The fearsome foursome finale
Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images

This made for an absolutely brilliant finale of racing. The two Treks had no chance of beating the powerful Kopecky at the line, and proceeded to attack her relentlessly, taking turns accelerating from the back, opening a small gap, and forcing Kopecky to chase. Then swapping places and going again.

For Vos, this was a dream scenario. How many years was she in Kopecky’s position, all eyes on her, all tactics aimed at her? On this day the ultra-decorated star could just sit back and watch the battle rage, patiently waiting for the maelstrom to spin itself out and give her the opening she needed. Vos never once got out of position, never overreacted, forcing Kopecky to spend precious energy throughout the last 10km. That left the foursome in a sprint that Vos won easily, ahead of Kopecky, with the two Treks taking about as valiant and glorious a 3-4 finish as you will see.


Photo by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier, the men’s race featured Visma in the catbird seat all day, with multiple riders on the loose throughout the final 30km, settling for a two-man escape after the Bosberg, when Tratnik attacked and drew only Politt for company, a flotilla of mentally…

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