The first European WorldTour race in the season is Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The riders set off in the same place as last year, namely Ghent, but the race will finish somewhere else for the next five years. The line is in Meerbeke, near the white church on the Halsesteenweg, where the Tour de Flanders used to arrive until 2011.
The new arrival makes way for an interesting finale with the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg in quick succession. Firstly, a 7.6% cobbled climb of 1.1 kilometres before the next cobbles go up at 6.2% over the same distance. After cresting the Bosberg the riders drop down to the finish in Meerbeke.
The route of the 2018 edition of Omloop het Nieuwsblad amounts to thirteen Flemish ‘hellingen’. The Leberg is the first one at kilometre 64 – 950 metres at 4.2% and with steepest slope at 13.8%. Almost 100 kilometres down the road the Den Ast is next line before the Katteberg looms after 8 more kilometres. Then Leberg pops up again with almost 120 kilometres done. The Leberg is the most popular hill in the 2018 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as it appears three times.
The climb intensity increases. Kokkerelle, Wolvenberg, Molenberg and, again, Leberg are crested within 23 kilometres before the Berendries – 940 metres at 7% – leads to the Valkenberg – 540 metres at 8.1% – and the Tenbosse, which is a 450 metres climb at 6.9%.
Still 26 kilometres left to race with the Wall of Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg as the last two hurdles. The renowned cobbled climb up the Wall is 475 metres at 9.3% with steepest ramps at almost 20%. Without delay the finale continues on to the Bosberg – 980 metres at 5.8% and almost half of it is cobbled. As said, after the Bosberg the Omloop has 11.9 more kilometres in store to the line on the Halsesteenweg in Meerbeke.
Greg Van Avermaet is title holder.
Read also: results/race report 2018 Omloop het Nieuwsblad.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Riders
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Results
Related articles Overview - Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 20 More articles
Enter Giro pool with €16,000 in prize money
Giro 2020: The Route
Giro 2020: Riders
Giro 2020: GC Favourites
La Flèche Wallonne 2020: Marc Hirschi powers to victory
La Flèche Wallonne Femmes 2020: Sixth consecutive win for Van der Breggen
La Flèche Wallonne: Winners and records
Giro 2020 Route stage 1: Monreale - Palermo
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 1: First fight for pink
Giro 2020 Route stage 2: Alcamo - Agrigento
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 2: For punchers and power sprinters
Giro 2020 Route stage 3: Enna - Etna
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 3: Climb fest on Mount Etna
Giro 2020 Route stage 4: Catania – Villafranca Tirrena
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 4: Fast men, despite long climb
Giro 2020 Route stage 5: Mileto - Camigliatello Silano
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 5: Attackers on long last climb
Giro 2020 Route stage 6: Castrovillari - Matera
Giro 2020 Route stage 7: Matera- Brindisi
Giro 2020 Route stage 8: Giovanazzo - Vieste
Giro 2020 Route stage 9: San Salvo - Roccaraso
Giro 2020 Route stage 10: Lanciano - Tortoreto Lido
Giro 2020 Route stage 11: Porto Sant'Elpidio - Rimini
Giro 2020 Route stage 12: Cesenatico - Cesenatico
Giro 2020 Route stage 13: Cervia - Monselice
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 13: Back to the fast men, or...?
Giro 2020 Route stage 14: Conegliano - Valdobbiadene
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 14: Young gun versus old hand
Giro 2020 Route stage 15: Rivolto – Piancavallo
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 15: Battle for pink intensifies
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 17: Monster Mountains for HC climbers
Giro 2020 Route stage 18: Pinzolo – Laghi di Cancano
Giro 2020 Favourites stage 19: Last chance for fast finishers
Vuelta 2020: The Route
Vuelta 2020: Riders
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 1: Irún - Santuario de Arrate
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 2: Pamplona - Lekunberri
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 3: Lodosa - Laguna Negra
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 4: Soria - Ejea de los Caballeros
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2020: The Route
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2020: Riders
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes 2020: The Route
Tour of Flanders 2020: The Route
Cycling Calendar 2020
Paris - Roubaix 2020: The Route
BinckBank Tour 2020: Riders