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Mellow Velo

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               76th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Ghent ›Ninove(200.5k)

Saturday 27 February - Marks the opening of the Belgian cycling calendar, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad takes in 200.5 kilometres and thirteen climbs.
The course of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad remains virtually unchanged for the third year in a row. For the nostalgic, briefly summarized as “the old Tour of Flanders” with more than 14 kilometers over cobblestones and the duos Haaghoek-Leberg and Muur-Bosberg as focal points.



After the classic run-up via Zottegem and Zwalm, the first of a total of three passages about the gradually historical duo Haaghoek-Leberg soon awaits. The slopes and the cobblestones follow each other in rapid succession afterwards, until the cobblestones in Mater and the Molenberg herald the actual final with about 40 kilometers to drive. After the infamous Kapelmuur and Bosberg, another 13 (exciting) kilometers are waiting to the finish in Ninove.
With the Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg inside the last 20 kilometres the Omloop serves the old finale of the Tour of Flanders for the fourth consecutive year. The revamp of 2018 led to compelling racing on all three occasions since then, with Michael Valgren (2018) and Zdenek Stybar (2019) winning after late attacks, and Jasper Stuyven outgunning Yves Lampaert in a two-up sprint in 2020, after there had been a break of 7 riders.



Kasseistroken:

Haaghoek (154 km) [2000 m]
Huisepontweg (130 km) [1800 m]
Holleweg (98 km) [1500 m]
Haaghoek (92 km) [2000 m]
Paddestraat (83 km) [2300 m]
Holleweg (52 km) [1500 m]
Karel Martelstraat (51 km) [2400 m]
Jagerij (49 km) [800 m]
Haaghoek (38 km) [2000 m]

Hellingen:

Leberg (151 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
Den Ast (124 km) [450 m; 5.5%]
Katteberg (102 km) [600 m; 6%]
Leberg (89 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
Hostellerie (73 km) [1300 m; 4,5%]
Valkenberg (64 km) [540 m; 8.1%]
Wolvenberg (52.5 km) [645 m; 7%]
Molenberg (42.5 km) [463 m; 7%]
Leberg (35 km) [950 m; 4.2%]
Berendries (31 km) [940 m; 7%]
Elverenberg-Vossenhol (28.5 km) [1,268 m; 3.6%]
Muur-Kapelmuur (16.7 km) [475 m; 9.3%]
Bosberg (12.8 km) [980 m; 5.8%]

Startlist:

https://firstcycling.com/race.php?r=53&y=2021&k=8

Favourites 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

:*:*:*:*:* Julian Alaphilippe
:*:*:*:* Tim Wellens,
:*:*:* Jasper Stuyven, Oliver Naesen, Matteo Trentin, Tiesj Benoot
:*:* Mads Pedersen, Greg Van Avermaet, Yves Lampaert, Kasper Asgreen
:* Søren Kragh Andersen, Iván García, Gianni Moscon
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  • « Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 13:37 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Leadbelly

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    https://twitter.com/TeamIsraelSUN/status/1365373630377517060

    I-SUN down to five riders. Boivin and Hollenstein the ones affected.
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  • Mellow Velo

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     I am going to hijack my own thread here.

    Meanwhile, it the rugged heartland of the South of France, another brace of semi classics take place, attracting stronger than usual fields.

    On Saturday, Februrary 27th takes place the 21st Faun-Ardèche Classic (171 km) and on Sunday, they cross the Rhone river for the 9th

    Royal Bernard Drome Classic (179km)

    Top competitors

        FUGLSANG Jakob
        MARTIN Guillaume
        VLASOV Aleksandr
        WOODS Michael
        BARGUIL Warren
        PINOT Thibaut
        GAUDU David
        CARTHY Hugh
        COSTA Rui
        ČERNÝ Josef

    Both of these races have live coverage via L'Equipe and if anybody doesn't mind French and safe in the knowledge that the Belgian races will be available on demand via the GCN/Eurosport player platforms, the provided link has been tested by me and works with the internet app on the Amazon firestick. (you just need to follow two prompts and verify when asked.)

    https://www.tntendirect.com/L'EQUIPE-21-en-direct
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  • Echoes

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    https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20200226_04866098



    Let me share with you an interview from last year of the oldest Omloop winner still alive : René Van Meenen ! Winner in 1963 He's now aged 90 since 14 January and he's still the only man from Ghent to ever win the Omloop. You know that this race was formerly known as Ghent-Ghent but now the finish is no longer in Ghent. Between 1996 and 2007, it was Ghent-Lokeren and now since 2018 it's been Ghent-Meerbeke/Ninove. So being the only "Gentenaar" to win the Omloop was quite a feat. He's actually from Drongen which is now a part of the town of Ghent.

    He was asked whether the Omloop was the greatest victory in his career.

    Quote
    Sure ! It is and remains a classic. I also won a stage at the Tour of Spain but winning in your own area as "Gentenaar/Drongenaar", it's still something more special.

    Did Flanders already "live for" the race as much as they do today?

    Quote
    Absolutely. Weeks before, you'd already talk about it. Predictions were made. My supporters thought that I could be close in that edition but winning it still something else. That wasn't easy.

    What do you remember from that Omloop?

    Quote
    It was really cold that day. It had been freezing -4°C and here or there you could have snow alongside the road. I did like that weather. I knew the route very well and knew where I had to be. In the morning I cycled from Drongen to the startline and realised I had a good feeling.

    Were you the team leader at the start?

    Quote
    Not at all. I had to work for Benoni Beheyt but the way the race unfolded had it that I was in front. The peloton was broken into two parts following a crash in Aalter. I was looking for my leader and he was nowhere to see. So I was in the lead group. In the finale, we were with the four of us on entering Ghent and I could win in the sprint.

    Were you a sprinter?

    Quote
    No. First and foremost I raced on power, crushing the pedals but I also raced with my mind. They said : "René Van Meenen, the head and the legs"

    Is it true that this was the first televised edition of the Omloop?

    Quote
    Yes, the full final hour could be watched. It was a kind of test edition for the Worlds that were to be held in Ronse

    Was their a special celebration?

    Quote
    I could go to the Town Hall. In 1954 after my victory in the Tour of Egypt, I could make a tour through Drongen in a cabrio. That was very special. There also was a fanfare but that day was freezing cold, so that the fingers of the trumpetists were too numb to play and the fanfare consisted of only a fistful of drummers.


    I have no time to translate the whole interview but what is nice is that he still rode 40 to 50 km when not raining, at the time of that interview (that was before the pandemic) at age 89. He likes stopping his ride at a local pub for a drink and a talk. Two years before (so three years ago) he bought a brand new modern bike.

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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    LukasCPH

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    Let me share with you an interview from last year of the oldest Omloop winner still alive : René Van Meenen !
    Great interview, thank you! :cool
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    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean

    Mellow Velo

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    Davide Ballerini continued his fine start to 2021 as he eased to victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
    Not surprisingly, it was Deceuninck – Quick-Step that forced the race, putting the rest of the peloton on the back foot.
    The race reached the Molenberg before the pace really went up a gear, Alaphilippe leading a group off the front of the peloton alongside team-mates Zdenek Štybar and Davide Ballerini, as Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin were among those to have made the cut.
    This star-studded group soon caught the day’s break, as Pidcock impressively rode across the gap.
    Alaphilippe continued to be the main instigator of this move before peeling off the front on his own, but in the process, brought the peloton back into the mix.
    With 20km to go, Alaphilippe’s lead was hovering just above 10 seconds, the Frenchman caught just before the Muur, where the race came back together, rather than blew apart.
    At this point, the enormous bunch resigned themselves to the final sprint, but in which few sprinters actually showed up.



     
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  • t-72

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    At this point, the enormous bunch resigned themselves to the final sprint, but in which few sprinters actually showed up.

    #uae with Kristoff on the wheel of Trentin also seemed to have lined up to give Ballerini a real struggle for the win, but there was an incident I think inside 2km in which Trentin crashed or almost crashed with another guy, Kristoff managed to break and avoided Trentin. That wasn´t much help as someone else with worse brakes rammed Kristoff from behind. His back wheel was broken, so Kristoff couldn’t contest the sprint. Aside from this unfortunate incident, I cannot remember Kristoff riding this good in the Omloop, and with Trentin there it gave me a flash back to Katusha with Kristoff and Paolini. The new dynamic duo?

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    also #ineos Hayter was involved in that incident, and Pidcock said afterwards “Ethan and I raced a lot when we were young so we know each other really well. I'm 100% sure he would have been on the podium if he hadn’t have crashed.”

    He also was 7th over the Muur, by the way, while Kristoff was around ~30th or so. Sure, main thing was to remain in the favorite's group anyway, which Kristoff comfortably managed to, but was he really stronger than usual, or just lucky that the race unfolded differently this time?
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    t-72

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    also #ineos Hayter was involved in that incident, and Pidcock said afterwards “Ethan and I raced a lot when we were young so we know each other really well. I'm 100% sure he would have been on the podium if he hadn’t have crashed.”

    He also was 7th over the Muur, by the way, while Kristoff was around ~30th or so. Sure, main thing was to remain in the favorite's group anyway, which Kristoff comfortably managed to, but was he really stronger than usual, or just lucky that the race unfolded differently this time?

    Things are not always quite what they seem, and I don't know which journalists put Kristoff on the favorite list for this race.

    So I meant "stronger than usual" as in "stronger than Kristoff usually rides in the Opening Weekend." Considering the rest of his palmares, he is usually not very good at this time of year. I think he believes that if you want to win the monuments, winning the Omloop is an indicator you have reached peak form a little early. He seems to do what he can to avoid that, really:  his impressive Omloop  track record is : 101, 138, 77, 11, 101, DNF, DNF, 58 (this year)

     :lol
    (these ridiculous results may be even worse than Naesen on the Tiegemberg)


    In other words, I think Kristoff was looking stronger than ever, as he undobtedly might have had a solid chance at squeezing in a top 10 there! However Kristoff  should be happy with 58th as it is definetly way better than usual for this guy .....  :S
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  • t-72

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    @MellowVelo and others
    when you put the first cycling results in, please use fc tags not fcs tags,

    the fcs tag is for first cycling startlists. The fc tag is for the results.

    What you have done, probably accidentally, is to use the start list tags to display the results.   It actually does return a results listing, but it doesn't look very nice, with a lot of empty lines at the end.


    You wrote:
    Code: [Select]
    [fcs]r=53&y=2021[/fcs]
    write  this instead:
    Code: [Select]
    [fc]r=53&y=2021[/fc]


    This was intended to be friendly and helpful even if it does look like nit-picking :( I tried  :TT
    Let me go cycling I will return a better human!

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