This Saturday the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will officially begin the 2022 Classics season. The Belgian race is always full of excitement with short, tough climbs, some cobbles and often, some nasty weather.
It should be an exciting race, with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) a heavy favourite, along with riders like Tom Pidcock, Sonny Colbrelli and Kasper Asgreen, but given the parcours, it could change in heart beat. The race, formerly known as Het Volk, is 204km and has here are 13 hills along with nine cobblestone sections. The famous Leberg climb, which contains the Haghoek sector of cobbles, will be ridden three times, and leads to the finale as the race truly gets tough in the final 50 km.
Cycling is unpredictable, of course, and is always full of surprises. Just take the 70th edition of Het Nieuwsblad in 2015.
The race was won by Britain’s Ian Stannard in a two-man sprint ahead of Dutchman Niki Terpstra while his teammate Tom Boonen of Belgium finished third.
The race was a memorable one as Stannard found himself in a four man break away, with the other three being Etixx-Quick-Step riders. The three teammates did their best to try and attack him in the closing kilometres, but to no avail. The Sky rider dispatched each rider, coming to the line with Terpstra, and outsprinted him to the line.
Check out this master class in “How to win a race when you’re outnumbered” below.
Ian Stannard announced his retirement from pro cycling due to rheumatoid arthritis. It's sad that he didn't win Roubaix but we'll always remember the 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Thank you for that day, Yogi! 😍 (beautiful video by @ikguallas ) pic.twitter.com/1DaylkgfC3
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) November 5, 2020