World champion Van Vleuten aiming for a record in Omloop het Nieuwsblad
On Saturday 25 February, it’s time for Omloop het Nieuwsblad, traditionally the first WorldTour race on European soil. This season, the women's opening classic is also part of the Women's WorldTour for the first time. Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten is aiming for the ultimate record in her last season. The world's best riders will challenge her.
The starting signal for Omloop het Nieuwsblad will resonate at 13:30 on the Emile Clauslaan in Ghent. The peloton is preparing for a 132,2 kilometer ride with eight hills and five cobblestone stretches along the way. Just as in 2021, Annemiek van Vleuten gets to wear race number 1. The world champion is a joint record holder with two victories in the opening classic, and she will be aiming for the ultimate record in her last season. To do this, she will be joined in Movistar Team Women by newcomers Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij, who took third place on the podium in 2020, and the Danish Emma Norsgaard, runner-up in 2021.
Team SD Worx is one of the teams that will challenge the Spanish lineup. With Demi Vollering, who was beaten in the sprint by Van Vleuten last year, Tour of Flanders winner Lotte Kopecky and the lightning-fast Lorena Wiebes, third in 2022, the team has several assets. This is also the case for Trek – Segafredo. In addition to former world champion Elisa Balsamo, the American team will also bring Elisa Longo Borghini and Ellen van Dijk, second in 2012 and 2015, to the start.
Marta Bastianelli, who, like Van Vleuten, is starting her last spring, is also quite familiar with the Omloop het Nieuwsblad podium. The Italian of UAE Team ADQ finished second in both 2019 and 2020. She joins forces with her compatriot, Silvia Persico. We find even more Italian talent in the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team. Maria Confalonieri succeeded in finishing third in 2018.
For FDJ – Suez, both Loes Adegeest and Grace Brown have already been able to win this season. They will be joined by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli, among others. In addition to the duo of Anna Henderson – Riejanne Markus, Team Jumbo-Visma is also counting on Coryn Rivera’s fast legs.
At Canyon//SRAM Racing and Fenix-Deceuninck, we find two talented Belgian riders. In addition to Shari Bossuyt, the first team will also bring Katarzyna Niewiadoma to the start. At Fenix-Deceuninck, we can look forward to Julie De Wilde. We find even more young talent at EF Education – Tibco – SVB, heading towards Ghent with Zoe Backstedt, junior world champion.
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)