The opening classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has been given a facelift . The finale of last year's edition was a copy of the track of the last Tour of Flanders, with its finish in Ninove. In 2019, the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg will again play a prominent role in the finale of the first one day race of the UCI WorldTour on European soil. The 74th edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will take off at 't Kuipke in Ghent, as in the past years. The finish, however, will be moved from Meerbeke to the center of Ninove.
Ninove, epicenter of cycling
The Muur van Geraardsbergen will be the final hill in 2019's edition. From there on, it's still 16 kilometres to the finish. The successor of Michael Valgren Andersen will not triumph on the Halsesteenweg in Meerbeke, but on the Onderwijslaan in the center of Ninove. On March 2nd, Ninove will thus become the epicenter of cycling during thé opening classic of the new season.
Tougher race for the elite women
Just like in 2018, all participants (men and women) will be presented in 't Kuipke during the team presentation. Afterwards, both races will take off at the same location. The start of the elite women's race is scheduled 10 minutes after the elite men's race.
Christina Siggaard won last year's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which finished in Meerbeke. In 2019, the women's race will be tougher, with 10 hills and 5 cobbled sections. That's 2 hills and 2 cobbled sections more than in 2018. The women will also finish in Meerbeke.