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t-72

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
« on: February 27, 2020, 21:47 »
Frits! Beer! Belgium! Bad Falls!  Bad weather!

It's (trumpets!)


Omloop het Nieuwsblad Saturday!

It really doesn't start before this,





Link to race homepage

Start time:
Gent 11:35, weather expeted to be 10°C, 10 m/s wind from the south west, and rainshowers.

Finish time:
Ninove, expected between 16:20 - 17:00 depending on the chosen race speeds. Colder weather (7°C) and a solid chance of sunshine, but, yeah, who knows, there still may be a rainshower or two in the region. Also slightly less wind (7 m/s).

Selected picture on top is from my favorite edition, Stannard's first win in 2014. Also selected because #ineos Stannard and #ccc van Avermaet are the two main riders on the results list of the last 10 years of this race. Both have 2 wins, and van Avermaet tops that with a row of podiums in addition.

However, in my opinon, Stannard's victories have been the most memorable ones. The 2014 victory because of the ominious weather, and because it was the only cobbled classic race Sky bossed ever (Boasson Hagen came in 3rd position). The 2015 victory was the worst boss fight ever, as Stannard was fighting 3 #quickstep wolves (Boonen, Terpstra and VandenBergh - winners of 10 monuments) and somehow managed to come out in front. The finale is maybe worth a rewatch?


 
Anyway - here's the startlist for this year's race, courtesy of First Cycling, if the startlist service still works with their new web pages (check them out, it looks much better now).



Coming up in the next post, T-72's analysis and pre-race favorites (always failing for this race, but hopefully worth the read anyway!)
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  • « Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 23:09 by t-72 »

    t-72

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 22:42 »
    OK, let's hope this isn't lost in the peak Corona fog that's falling over the media world this week.

    Who's going to shine, once the fog has lifted and the racign begins?

    I am looking at the results lists for the last 10 years, and basically all the podiums have been filled up with quite well known and good riders. The exceptiosn may be Sven Vandousselare, riding for a conti team when he came in 3rd in 2013m and #sky Lukas Wizniowski in 2018 (now #ccc).    With these exceptions, the podium has been top notch, even if there are a few "Omloop specialists", good riders that rarely win other races because they are on team duties for most of the rest of the year.  This includes #ineos Stannard and #ef Langeveld. 

    This year's course comes with quite a few hills and cobbles stacked at 100 km , 150 km, 170 km, 180 km and then a long reverse false flat to the finish. All these zones in the race can help launching an attack that can go all the way, depending on conditions.

    The "new" Omloop finish is almost like the old de Ronde finish, featuring the Muur/Kapelmur with 17 km to go. Myself I liked the old Omloop finish better, but alright, the select group from Gerhardsbergen will face a final challenge at Bosberg with 13 km to and then start preparing for the sprint.

    As mentioned earlier, I never seem to predict what happens in this race, so I will give it one more shot:

    ***** #jumbo Wout van Aert
    ****   #ineos and #quickstep (full teams)
    ***     #ef VanMarcke, #ccc van Avermaet, #israel Politt
    ** #trek Pedersen, #sunweb Benoot, #ag2r Naesen, #ntt Valgren
    * #uae Kristoff, #ntt Hagen, ++++

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 23:05 »
    Yay! The openingsklassieker! Finally, the cycling season really starts. :cool

    Anyway - here's the startlist for this year's race, courtesy of First Cycling, if the startlist service still works with their new web pages (check them out, it looks much better now).
    the read anyway!) [/i]
    It does work, though for some reason without the flags, for me at least. :S
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 05:01 »
    The 2015 victory was the worst boss fight ever, as Stannard was fighting 3 #quickstep wolves (Boonen, Terpstra and VandenBergh - winners of 10 monuments) and somehow managed to come out in front.

    That will always remain one of my favorite finishes ever.

    What an Army-of-One Stannard was on that day. He humiliated three riders, a whole team, and an entire country, all in a day's work.
     :D :P



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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 20:51 »
    I'm surprised you have so much faith in Ineos to give them 4 stars. The vast majority of the team seem nowhere near the standards we have expected from them in previous years. I guess if it is very stormy and wet, it may rouse Stannard from his 4-year (?) slumber, but I doubt it.

    GVA is my shout. He was in excellent shape in Algarve.
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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #5 on: February 29, 2020, 08:02 »
    the Belgian press agrees

    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* van Avermaet
    :*:*:*:* Jungels, Teuns
    :*:*:* Wellens, Lampaert, Benoot
    :*:* Stybar, Vanmarcke, Stuyven, Naesen
    :* Pedersen, Moscon, Valgren, van Aert, Kristoff
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    t-72

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #6 on: February 29, 2020, 09:13 »
    I'm surprised you have so much faith in Ineos to give them 4 stars. The vast majority of the team seem nowhere near the standards we have expected from them in previous years. I guess if it is very stormy and wet, it may rouse Stannard from his 4-year (?) slumber, but I doubt it.

    GVA is my shout. He was in excellent shape in Algarve.
    Just to explain my thinking:
    Most of the riders that can win de Ronde will try to time their peak for later. This leaves an opening for #ineos who are bringing a team that isn’t as classics specific, and riders like Luke Rowe probably has Paris-Nice on his list with roughly the same font as the monuments, while Swift probably targeted the MSR which is now likely to be cancelled.  If they are in shape a little earlier than the best other riders, they can win. They will not be the most marked riders and if Swift gets in front group up the Muur, he .... finishes swiftly, to put it that way.
    The team doesn’t have the strongest rider but they are not a one horse show, if the race becomes tactical they are second only to quickstep in having many options, at least on paper.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.UWT)
    « Reply #7 on: March 02, 2020, 21:44 »
    A short summary:

    In the selection phase, a group of about 10 riders, not too carefully selected, gets away. The group includes two #quickstep riders (Lampaert and TDQ) and #jumbo Mike Teunissen, but no-one from #ineos, even though they had been very active before the selection was made, trying to launch 2-time winner Ian Stannard into yet another finale.

    For the next couple-of-tens-of-kilometers, this set the stage: #ineos trying to chase down the group, #jumbo doing all they could to sabotage that and #quickstep doing nothing, except putting TDQ to do his part. This lasted until teams started to realize they might not have the right man in the break, and started to chase anyway.

    This included teams like #ef EF Education, whose neo-pro Rutsched back after a rather unsuccesful removal-of-jacket procedure. Now they would have to get Vanmarcke up to the select group, or at least they tried. The list of teams realizing "oops, wrong man up in front" to my surprise also included #jumbo Jumbo-Visma, who had been actively obstructing #ineos Ineos attempt's at chasing. Probably after reports from the rider himself, they had realized that Teunissen couldn't go all the way. Even more to my surprise, it did not include #ineos Ineos, and the only explanation I have for that is anybody on that team hoping for results on the day had already faded - no power left to chase.

    The chase didn't really get organised. It was like junior racing, as if it is too early in the season, the teams have forgotten how to talk to each other and tactically it was more a game of mutual destruction than organised and determined efforts to really try to catch the break. The teams were racing with their heads left in the team bus, except for: the usual suspects. Who got organized was the guys on the attack, in the first group. It wasn't really too difficult as #quickstep TDQ was present and, yeah, then he does most of the work, it is that simple (although the others were happy to give him a few breathers). The right man in the attack group for anyone in the attack group, because, there is no one that matches him on the circuit these days (one of his teammates come close). I guess he is on anyone's top list of who they want to be in their breakaway.

    The front group was further trimmed down on the Muur - most noticeably #ccc Matteo Trentin choked. (I guess that was what the organizers and other retro-Ronde-lovers wanted to see?) and for the finale of the finale into Ninove, only 3 were left. #sunweb Søren Kragh-Andersen faded before the sprint, and #quickstep once again had to learn that Yves Lampaert should attack, not wait for the sprint. 
    #trek Jasper Stuyven, who isn't quite the sprinter either,  distanced him before the line.

    All in all, the race had a rather random selection phase and several teams failed to put their strongest riders in the select group - but I got the impression that it didn't really matter that much for teams like #lotto and riders like Philippe Gilbert that it was Frisson's day out front. The real classics are still one month away, and the Omloop winner curse is, if not real, at least well known,  and possibly part of every team's prioritization: in shape for winning Omloop - out of shape for winning de Ronde. You can only pick 1, and that isn't too difficult for the best riders.

    So, take #trek Stuyven off your favorite lists then? However:  he was a worthy winner of Omloop, no doubt.



    Noted: #uae Kristoff DNF technical issues AGAIN (seat loose - on 2 bikes!)
    Noted2: on this day, #ineos Moscon behaved rather well  :P
     :gesink of the day: #jumbo Amund Grøndal Jansen (cut up something,  needs to be stiched back together and will be off the bike for a while)   
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