2022 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad To Brabantse Pijl - Your 2022 Flanders Classics Guide

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad To Brabantse Pijl - Your 2022 Flanders Classics Guide

FloBikes will bring fans in the USA, Canada and Australia live and on demand coverage of the six-race Flanders Classics series.

Feb 14, 2022 by Jessica Alexander
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad To Brabantse Pijl - Your 2022 Flanders Classics Guide

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad kicks off the 2022 Spring Classics season on February 26th, the first of the season's major one-day WorldTour events. FloBikes will stream all six Flanders Classics events to subscribers in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Feb. 26)

The opening weekend of the spring classics begins with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Omloop is often referred to as the miniature Tour of Flanders because it features the Ronde’s much loved finale that was decommissioned when the race’s finish line moved to Oudenaarde. The men’s 2022 course will be 204 kilometers and the women’s race, which is held on the same day, will be 128 kilometers.

The final 20 kilometers of Omloop are truly special to watch as the lead group fractures on the steep pitches of the Muur van Geraardsbergen before tackling the Bosberg and descending to the finish in Ninove.

Anna Van Der Breggen, who recently retired, won the Women’s race and Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Davide Ballerini won the Men’s race. 

Gent-Wevelgem – In Flanders Fields (Mar. 27)

A month after the opening weekend, the second round of the Flanders Classics arrives with Gent-Wevelgem, a race that is defined by its ascents of the Kemmelberg and the numerous World War I memorials that line the narrow technical roadsides.

The Kemmelberg is a large hill formation that marks the highest point in West Flanders. The jarring cobbled climb averages 7.2 percent for 400 meters, and is followed by a narrow, technical and often treacherous descent. The Kemmelberg poses a problem for the many sprinters who dream of winning the race. In 2019, Alexander Kristoff went on a daring long-range solo attack, which gave him a head start into the Kemmelberg, and a spot in the lead group from which he eventually won.

Gent-Wevelgem also features a series of semi-paved gravel “plugstreets,” a British nickname derived from the village of Ploegsteert, which hosted a soccer match between British and German troops during the Christmas truce of 1914. Gent-Wevelgem serves as a remembrance of the hundreds of thousands of Allied troops who lost their lives in the Flanders Fields. 

Since 2012, there has also been a women’s race as part of the one-day cobbled classic. 

In 2021, Team Jumbo-Visma riders Marianne Vos and Wout Van Aert took wins. 

Dwars Door Vlaanderen (Mar. 30)

At 183 kilometers, the third round of the series arrives mid-week between Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. Despite its understated presence—compared to the weekend's headliners—Dwars Door Vlaanderen remains a must-watch. 

Most riders contesting the Tour of Flanders will be attending, using the race as a final hard day of preparation before the main event. 

Dylan Van Baarle out-powered the field in 2021, while the women's race finished in a thrilling battle between Annemiek Van Vleuten and Katarzyna Niewiadoma. 

Tour of Flanders - Ronde van Vlaanderen (Apr. 3)

One of cycling’s five monuments, the Tour of Flanders is the crown jewel of the Flanders Classics. The men race a whopping 272 kilometers, tackling many of the region's toughest cobbled climbs. The women will race 158 kilometers in 2022, and for the first time their course includes the infamous Koppenberg.

Both races feature the Ronde’s modern finish in Oudenaarde, which is defined by the highly consequential climbs of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. From the top of the Paterberg, riders exhausted from a day of bone-jarring roads and steep climbs have 13 kilometers of smooth tarmac to put themselves in a winning position.

Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Kasper Asgreen won the men’s race in 2021 and Movistar’s Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s race.

Scheldeprijs (Apr. 6)

Scheldeprijs stands out as the flattest and the smoothest of the Flanders Classics. Known as the sprinter’s classic, Scheldeprijs features a pan flat course that snakes along the Scheldt River for which the race gets its name. 

The race traditionally finishes on a circuit round Schoten after roughly 200 kilometers of exposed, windy racing from Terneuzen. 

In 2021 the Deceuninck–Quick-Step sprint train was bested by Jasper Philipsen, but Mark Cavendish turned heads by securing his most prestigious podium finish in recent years.

De Brabantse Pijl (Apr. 13)

After Scheldeprijs, the Flanders Classics gets back to the business of cobbles and bergs. The men cover 200 kilometers from Leuven to Overijse. The women arrive in Overijse after 121 kilometers.

The final round of the Flanders Classics is distinguished by a relentlessly hilly finishing circuit culminating in a hard one-kilometer uphill kick to the line. In 2021, Trek-Segafredo’s Ruth Winder took the win while on the men’s side, Ineos’ Tom Pidcock won.