Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne will kickstart the 2022 Classics Season
The 2022 cobbled classics season kicks off the weekend of February 26-72 in Belgium, with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on the Saturday and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on the Sunday
The route is not yet known for the 2022 race but it does usually take on brutal cobbled climbs such as the famour Muur van Geraardsbergen, kicking off the northern Europe season in style.
The race features thirteen tough climbs between the start in Ghent and the finish in Ninove, each getting harder as the race went on and the kilometres started to add up. With nine cobblestone sections adding to the difficulty, and some of these ridden twice, this 201km parcours will hit the riders hard.
Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, last year's winner at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, will be up against a whole lot of top riders. And all of them are eager to win the first WorldTour race on European soil.
In the women's race 2021 saw world champion and now retired rider Anna van der Breggen take the win in a solo move with another former world champion, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).
The race itself is named after the newspaper that sponsors it, Het Nieuwsblad, with Omloop roughly meaning circulation, loop or lap, much like Vuelta or Giro in Spain and Italy.
As always, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is on the calendar on the ninth Sunday of the year, the day after Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Together the two races comprise the Flemish Opening Weekend. ‘KBK’, as the race is often abbreviated, is perfect for sprinters.
Last year Mads Pedersen out-gunned Trentin, Cobrelli and Van Avermaet after Mathieu van der Poel's massive 70km attack from the finish was neutralized.
For those who want to ride the course and watch the race there is the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Cyclo on February 26th 2022.