Jasper Stuyven outsprints Yves Lampaert to win the 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Trek Segafredo's Stuyven beat Lampaert in a final two man sprint after soloing away with Søren Kragh Andersen on the Kapelmuur with 17 km to go
Five breakaway riders Senne Leysen (Alpecin-Fenix), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles), Lluís Mas (Movistar), Manuele Boaro (Astana) and Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) built up a lead of over 7 minutes on the peloton.
But as they tackled the Haaghoek cobbles, theriadvantage had dropped down to 5 m 30s.
With 120 km to go, the peloton split with Wout van Aert, Pasal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Zdenek Stybar, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Mads Pedersen, Ryan Mullen, Jasper Stuyven, Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo), Ian Stannard, Owain Doull, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift (Ineos), Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Nils Eekhoff (Sunweb) forming a chase group.
But with strong winds gusting up to 60 kph and temperatures of just 8C, the main peloton, chase group and leaders re-formed with 140 km to go.
On the the third climb of the day the Katterburg followed by the Holleweg the main bunch was thinned dramtically to around 60 riders.
90 km to go and the peloton split as the strong cross winds took their toll, with echelons all over the road.
It was at this point that the final selection of riders was made including; Matteo Trentin (CCC), Yves Lampaert, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb).
76km to go, Greg Van Avermaet made a short lived attack out of the peloton to bridge across but to no avail.
With 55 km to go the leading five riders lead was over 2 minutes leaving no question that the winner would come from this group.
Panic spread behind as Lucas Postalberger (Bora) attacked out of the peloton followed by Biermas (Israel Start-Up Nation), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Dries Van Gestel (Total-Direct Energie) and Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-McLaren) attacked out of the peloton to chase the leaders down.
Wout van Aert and Sept Vanmarcke were next to attck out of the peloton to join the chase but were unable to join thm. Wout van Aert and Teijs Benoot tried again to no avail.
With 21km to go Matteo Trentin (CCC), Yves Lampaert, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal), Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) maintained a lead of 1m 40s.
But it was at 17 km to go and the 5 leaders hit the Murr Kapelmuur with 20% gradients where Stuyven, Lampaert and Søren Kragh Andersen went clear.
The trio continued over the final climb, the Bosberg – 980 metres at 5.8% and almost half of it is cobbled, with 13km kilometres of flat roads to fight it out before the finish in Ninove. Behind Matteo Trentin tried to bridge across some 17 seconds behind.
It was in the last 2km that Jasper Stuyven put in a big attack and only Yves Lampaert could respond, Soren Kragh Andersen dropped.
In the last 200m Jasper Stuyven and Yves Lampaert went head-to-head and Jasper Stuyven was the strongest and took victory, behind Soren Kragh Andersen was third and Matteo Trentin fourth with Tim Declercq leading what was left of the chase group to the line.
Stuyven said after this victory "It’s a great pleasure to show that I am back. Last season, I was constantly chasing after the fact. But we did end the year well with Mads Pedersen’s world title. We were motivated to continue in that line this season, and we’re succeeding very well. Omloop is the biggest victory of my career.”
LIVE COVERAGE of the 2020 Classics season continues tomorrow, Sunday March 1st with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne!
VIDEO: 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Highlights
2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Top 10
1 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
2 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
4 Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team
5 Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
10 Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep