Who will succeed Wout van Aert?
On Saturday 25 February, we will be looking for the successor to Wout van Aert in Omloop het Nieuwsblad. With Tiesj Benoot, Arnaud De Lie and Tom Pidcock, among others, there are many great names on the provisional startlist.
Jumbo-Visma broke Omloop het Nieuwsblad wide open last year with multiple accelerations uphill. With Dylan van Baarle, Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot, third in the opening classic of 2016, the Dutch lineup is bringing a strong team to the start again this year. One of their challengers goes by the name of Soudal Quick-Step, which has a former winner in its ranks with Ballerini. Kasper Asgreen, Tour of Flanders winner in 2021, and Yves Lampaert, runner-up in 2020, flank the Italian.
Greg Van Avermaet has already won the opening classic twice. With a third victory, the AG2R Citroën Team rider can call himself a joint record holder. The Belgian will have the support of Oliver Naesen, Stan Dewulf and Benoit Cosnefroy in that quest. Jasper Stuyven also knows how it feels to make the victory gesture. The 2020 winner joins Trek-Segafredo alongside Edward Theuns and Bauke Mollema at the start.
Tom Pidcock will also be present in Ghent. The former cyclo-cross world champion will be joined at Ineos Grenadiers by former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Magnus Sheffield, who won De Brabantse Pijl last year. The French team TotalEnergies is bringing Peter Sagan, runner-up in 2016 and 2017, to the start of the opening classic one last time. Anthony Turgis and Edvald Boasson Hagen, third in 2014, accompany the Slovakian. We also find the names of Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) on the preliminary start list.
With Zdenek Stybar (2019) and Sep Vanmarcke (2012), two more former winners will be present at the start in Ghent. The Czech will ride Omloop het Nieuwsblad in the Team Jayco AlUla shirt for the first time. At Israel - Premier Tech Vanmarcke is counting on the support of Dylan Teuns. UAE Team Emirates is also relying on a compatriot. Tim Wellens, Ruta del Sol stage winner and third in the opening classic in 2019, forms a duo with Matteo Trentin. We find even more Belgian talent at Lotto Dstny, with three leaders, Arnaud De Lie, Victor Campenaerts and Florian Vermeersch.
Alpecin-Deceuninck is sending Jasper Philipsen into the battle alongside Søren Kragh Andersen, who completed the podium in 2020. Intermarché – Circus – Wanty also wants to chase victory in Omloop het Nieuwsblad after several victories during the first weeks of cycling in 2023. The Belgian team is relying on Mike Teunissen and Hugo Page, among others, to achieve this.
Discover the provisional start list here.
Cycling fans can once again attend the start presentation in the legendary ’t Kuipke this year, but unlike last season, they do not have to order a ticket in advance to attend. If you don’t come to ’t Kuipke, but don’t want to miss a second of the team presentation, you should tune in on Proximus Pickx (tv & livestream).