Mathieu van der Poel to race 75th Editon of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Belgian Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider Zdenek Stybar is back and defend his title
This Saturday is the first big Flemish spring classics race. The city of Ghent and ‘t Kuipke are already preparing themselves to celebrate the 75th birthday of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The provisional start list filled with big names who can turn this jubilee edition into an unforgettable race. According to the provisional list, Zdenek Stybar will have to put up with tough competition in his quest for another victory in Ninove.
Last year, the Belgian Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider Zdenek Stybar’s solo'd away to win. This Saturday February 29th the Czech will pin number 1 on his back and defend his title. He gets support from Lampaert, Jungels and Asgreen, who came second in the Tour of Flanders last year.
Within the other Belgian WorldTeam Lotto Soudal, all eyes are on the leader Philippe Gilbert. He can try to take the win in the opening classic together with his compatriot Tim Wellens.
Also among the other WorldTeams, Belgians are shining on the provisional list of participants. Jasper Stuyven and Edward Theuns will take the start next week at the side of none other than world champion Mads Pedersen for Trek-Segafredo. At CCC Team, two-fold winner Greg Van Avermaet can become shared recordholder with a new victory. His all new team mate Trentin will support him. At AG2R La Mondiale we look forward to the brothers Naesen and their compatriot Vandenbergh. Another former winner can be found on the list of EF Pro Cycling. Sep Vanmarcke took the victory in the opening classic in 2012 and this year he can count on the support of Jens Keukeleire.
Tiesj Benoot, born and raised in Ghent, will be at the start for the first time for his new team Team Sunweb. At Bahrain – McLaren we look forward to Dylan Teuns, Sonny Colbrelli and Heinrich Haussler. The Spanish Movistar places its bets on Jürgen Roelandts, while the French Cofidis, who were rewarded a WorldTour license this year, counts on the Belgians Claeys and Vermote. Israel Start-Up Nation hold a WorldTour license for 2020 as well and they count on the German Nils Politt. At Team Ineos we see the familiar names of Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe. Team NTT deploys the winner of 2018, Michael Valgren, and Alexander Kristoff will be of service for UAE Team Emirates.
Many supporters are undoubtedly looking forward to Alpecin-Fenix, who will be at the start thanks to a wildcard. Last season, the dutchman Mathieu van der Poel took the victory in both Dwars door Vlaanderen and De Brabantse Pijl and this year he will be present at ‘t Kuipke as leader of this formation. Besides, he will be battling it out against that other dutchman who more than once shone in Flanders Classics races, Niki Terpstra from Total Direct Energie.
Tune in this Saturday 29 February to follow the race live!