Posted by: Zombi | February 26, 2010

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

At last the cycling season is properly starting.

We have already had a couple of high profile races in the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar but these are both quite new races and seen more as a good opportunity to race in warmer temperatures than northern Europe (although I’m sure this years winners would disagree!).  Saturday however, sees the start of the Cobbled Classics season.  This sees a number of one day races (known as classics due to their importance and profile) in Belgium and France over the coming weeks.

Saturdays race, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (formerly Omloop Het Volk, named after a Belgian newspaper ironically to try to outsell another Belgian newspaper sponsoring local race, Het Nieuwsblad) , is a semi classic starting and finishing in Ghent covering roughly 200km (including 20km or cobbled roads).  Normally won by a Belgian, 53 out of 62 times, the route is full of short sharp climbs, many of them cobbled.  Clearly, when riding a road bike over some pretty rough surfaces the weather can play a big part in how the race pans out and with heavy rain due tomorrow in Belgium it should be a really exciting race.

My predictions for success tomorrow are Edvald Boassen Hagen (Team Sky) who has had a strong start to the season and seems to be in good form and Tom Boonen who again has had some good form so far but never won this race.

With the season properly underway the races come thick and fast from now on….. well, Sunday to be precise, with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne a similar race to Het Nieuwsblad with a slightly lower profile.  Numerous riders will compete in both races.  Now that is hard!

A short clip of last years Het Nieuwsblad:

Back Sunday after the club run and hopefully the final hour of K-B-K if I can find it online for a report of this weeks training but finally, and most importantly, Amy, Happy Birthday for tomorrow!!!! xx

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