Saturday 27 February will mark the start of the favourite Flandrian weekend as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the official curtain raiser for the Belgium Spring Classic season. 

Held for the first time in 1945, Omloop is organised by the Flemish newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ which is where the event gets its name. Characterized by cobbled climbs, huge crowds and the bitterly cold weather, in over 70 years only three races have ever been cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.

Starting and finishing in Ghent, East Flanders, the peloton will travel 200km tackling 13 flemish hills and over 18km’s of cobbles. Joining 24 other teams on the start line, ONE Pro Cycling will enter an 8 man squad including ‘The Machine’ Marcin Bialoblocki. Fresh from winning the UAE Intermediate Sprints Jersey at the Dubai Tour Bialoblocki commented, “I’m looking forward to a weekend of racing on the cobbles, this could be the hardest weekend of my life, but I can’t wait.”

 

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Rider Roster:

Yanto Barker, (GBR)

Marcin Bialoblocki, (POL)

Kristian House, (GBR)

Sebastian Lander, (DEN)

Josh Hunt, (GBR)

Martin Mortensen, (DEN)

Steele Von Hoff, (AUS)

Pete Williams, (GBR)

 

Head Sports Director Matt Winston will be leading on Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and is looking forward the traditional opener of the flanders classic season. “It’s the first time ONE Pro Cycling will take part in the Belgium Classics and both the riders and staff are looking forward to a few exciting days of racing. We carried out a recon on the route a week ahead of the race in which we learnt a lot of lessons regarding equipment set up and gained a lot of knowledge of the course and how the race could unfold. We will look to try to animate the race early on and then look at our options as we head into the back part of what is an extremely tough course.

 

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The Route:

The route will include in a number of famous cobbled climbs and technical cobbled sections that make Flanders a cycling heaven for cycling fans and enthusiasts alike.

Start time: 11:30 Local Time. 10.30am (GMT)   Finish time: 16:30 Local Time 3.30pm (GMT)

 

Breakdown of climbs & cobbled sections

 

2000 M – COBBLED SECTION – HAAGHOEK

950 M – LEBERG (4,2% AVE,13,8% MAX)

940 M – BERENDRIES (7% AVE, 12.3% MAX)

450 M – TENBOSSE ( 6.7% AVE, 8.7% MAX)

610 M – EIKENMOLEN ( 5.9% AVE, 12.5% MAX)

1100 M – MURR VAN GERAARDBERGEN (8.7% AVE, 20% MAX) (COBBLED)

540 M – VALKENBERG (8.1% AVE, 12,8& MAX)

2000 M – COBBLED SECTION – HAAGHOEK

1000 M – KAPERIL (5.5%. AVE) (450M OF COBBLES)

1800 M – KRUISBERG (4.8% AVE, 9%.MAX, 450 OF COBBLES)

530 M – TAAIENBERG (6.6% AVE,15,8% MAX) 500M OF COBBLES)

1200 M – EIKENBERG (5.2% AVE, 10% MAX) 1200 M COBBLES)

645 M – WOLVENBERG (7.9% AVE,17.3% MAX)

800 M – COBBLED SECTION– RUITERSTRAAT

1,300 M – COBBLED SECTION – KAREL MARTELSTRAAT

350M – COBBLED SECTION – HOLLAWEG

2000 M – COBBLED SECTION – HAAGHOEK

950 M – LEBERG (4,2% AVE 13,8% MAX)

500M – BOEMBEKEBERG

2000M – COBBLED SECTION – PADDESTRAAT

1300M – COBBLED SECTION – LIPPENHOVESTRAAT

2500M – COBBLED SECTION – LANGE MUNTE

 

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Television Coverage

If you’re not lucky enough to experience the electric atmosphere of the crowd, the thrill of the cobbles, the Belgium beer or even the frites… don’t panic! Eurosport will be broadcasting the race live on Saturday 27 February so at least you won’t have to miss the cycling action!

As well as live coverage from Eurosport, we’ll be bringing you behind the scenes exclusives on our new Periscope channel, live race updates on our official Twitter page and a full race report on our website.