Men Elite history
Dylan van Baarle broke away from the pack, 35 km from the finish line. He accelerated on the Muur van Geraardsbergen, crossing the new finish line in Ninove’s Elisabethlaan alone. In the sprint for second place Arnaud De Lie beat Christophe Laporte.
Three men share the record of three wins in this spring classic. Bruyere and Van Petegem were even able to win the race in two consecutive years, 1974-1975 and 1997-1998 respectively.
Ernest Sterckx (born in Heultje, 1 December 1922) developed in the post-war period into a solid classics rider with wins in the Gent-Wevelgem, the Scheldeprijs and La Flèche Wallonne among others. “Nestje” was also the best in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad no fewer than three times, namely in 1952, 1953 and 1956. In his victories, he held off big names such as Raymond Impanis and Briek Schotte. Ernest Sterckx passed away in 1975 at the age of 52 in Leuven.
The Belgian Joseph Bruyère (born in Maastricht, 5 October 1948) scored as a cyclist on practically all terrains. For example, he twice won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and ended fourth in the Tour de France in 1978. In the Molteni team, he struck twice in the then Omloop Het Volk. Later in his career, in 1980, he repeated that trick for a third time.
Peter Van Petegem (born in Opbrakel, 18 January 1970) achieved his first great success in 1994 when he won the Scheldeprijs. Three years later, “the Zwarte van Brakel” won Omloop Het Volk for the first time, ahead of Tom Steels and Johan Capiot. He would go on to savour two more victories in the Omloop: one year later in 1998 and a final time in 2002. After his career, Peter Van Petegem started a bed & breakfast with his wife Angelique. Furthermore, he is still active in cycling as Deputy Race Director of the opening classic alongside Wim Van Herreweghe.