2023 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Starts 2023 Classic Season

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Starts 2023 Classic Season

The classics are here, starting with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The first big one-day race in a run-up to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Feb 20, 2023 by Gregor Brown
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Battle Royale Expected

The classics are here, starting with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday in Belgium. The first big one-day race of the 2023 calendar for both men and women that starts a run-up to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. 

Last year, both Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), the sport's superstars dominated the cobbled classic. Van Aert launched a 13km solo attack that came on the heels of the work done by his new teammate Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma).

The race this year starts in Ghent and ends in Ninove like in previous years with the famous Muur-Kapelmuur and Bosberg final that used to feature in the Tour of Flanders. Back for 2023, the nasty steep and poorly paved Molenberg cobbled climb 40km to race. Last year, they left it out due to some work

The women's race covers 132km and all the big hitters are on the start line including van Vleuten. She will be looking to snatch up as many wins as possible in her final year.

In 2022, Demi Vollering frustrated van Vleuten with her tactics but failed to make them work. This year, her SD Worx team is even stronger, with the addition of Lorena Wiebes who could be crucial for the Omloop upset. Also look out for Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo).

The men cover around 200km with sectors and climbs on those nasty cobbles that fans love. Those wishing to see a rematch of van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel after the Cyclocross World Championships will need to wait, both are still recharging their batteries for the bigger classics to come.

If it's a sprint, look for Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), 20-year-old Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny), Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), and 2021 winner Davide Ballerini (Soudal-Quick Step).

If it comes to a true knock out match among the classics teams – Jumbo-Visma, Ineos, Soudal-Quick Step, Trek-Segafredo – then... Then brace yourself for classics chaos.

Tom Pidcock, who sat out the cross worlds, should be the favorite with help and a possible chance going to Magnus Sheffield, with support of Luke Rowe and Ben Turner.

Bahrain's Matej Mohoric and Fred Wright, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Trentino along with new UAE teammate Tim Wellens. Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën).

Even American Matteo Jorgenson coming off his first ever win and overall victory at the Tour of Oman backed by Team Movistar.

It will be a true battle royale, Saturday in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad