Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024: Favourites

Wout van Aert - Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024: Favouritesfoto: Cor VosThe Omloop Het Nieuwsblad kicks off the Flemish opening weekend with an emblematic race featuring both 'hellingen' and cobbles. Who are the major contenders to win the first big test on the Flemish cycling calendar?

Belgium is getting warmed-up for the big Spring Classics ahead, and – to be honest – we all are. We are looking for the successor of Van Baarle, who started his road season last year with a brilliant performance. His team Jumbo-Visma – now Visma|Lease a Bike – opened the finale very early and eventually the reigning Dutch champion rode away from his only remaining companion Mathis Le Berre on the Muur van Geraardsbergen to solo to victory.

The dominance on Jumbo-Visma was impressive and a similar performance is to be expected from the ‘Visma Bees’. After all, virtually the entire squad should be able to win the Omloop.

The finale of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a carbon-copy of the old Tour of Flanders for quite some time now. Until recently, only a select group survived the combination of the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg inside the last 20 kilometres, but two years ago a different scenario unfolded when Van Aert kicked away in the run-up to the Bosberg, while his team mate Van Baarle opted for an entirely different approach last year.

Whatever the scenario for this edition, the Muur van Geraardsbergen/Bosberg combination in the finale is a killer. The iconic Wall is a cobbled speed breaker of 475 metres at 9.3% before the Bosberg serves a 980 metres climb at 5.8% (half of it cobbled). After the Bosberg there are 11.8 flat kilometres left to race.

There are four former winners at the start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Michael Valgren (2018), Jasper Stuyven (2020), Wout van Aert (2022), and Dylan van Baarle (2023).

Favourites 2024 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

**** Wout van Aert, Tiesj Benoot, Christophe Laporte
*** Tim Wellens, Tom Pidcock, Jasper Philipsen, Matej Mohoric
** Julian Alaphilippe, Arnaud De Lie, Dylan van Baarle, Fred Wright
* Jasper Stuyven, Biniam Girmay, Ide Schelling, Stefan Küng, Jonathan Milan

Watch the highlights of recent races here:
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