Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Belgian rouleur from Movistar Team on the move into split prior to big selection; stays with pursuit peloton until Kapelmuur, finishes two minutes behind winner Stybar (DQT) in first big classic of the season.
An intelligent attack, less than 3km from the finish, as he made part of the five-rider group which seemed destined to chase the victory into a small group’s sprint, saw Zdenek Stybar (DQT) claiming honours at the 2019 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the inaugural race of the Flemish classics season. The 200km course, a small Ronde van Vlaanderen which featured De Ronde’s old finale -Kapelmuur and Bosberg as final climbs-, served as Jürgen Roelandts’ first race as Movistar Team captain in the Northern races.
The Belgian, well protected until the decisive split a the Molenberg climb -less than 50km before the end- by a decent Blue guard, with Sepúlveda, Erviti -eventually DNF due to stomach problems-, Betancur, Arcas and Barbero inside the bunch, joined a dangerous move with 80km from the finish, a 20-man group which once held a 40″ gap over the other main contenders.
Roelandts tried, after getting caught, to keep the pace of a second group in pursuit of Stybar, Van Avermaet (CPT, 2nd), Wellens (LTS, 3rd), Teuns (TBM) and Lutsenko (AST). The wear from the previous move made Jürgen struggled at the Kapelmuur and, despite his attempts to get back prior to the Bosberg, ultimately losing contact in the last climb. Roelandts finished 1’52” down (25th), behind the main peloton.
The seven-man squad directed by Pablo Lastras will feature a lineup identical to Saturday’s at tomorrow’s Kuurne-Bruselas-Kuurne, over a parcours still demanding yet more suited to sprinters.
Cover picture (c): Roberto Bettini / BettiniPhoto.net
- 01 Zdenek Stybar Deceuninck - Quick Step 4h53'17"
- 02 Greg van Avermaet CCC Team +9"
- 03 Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal "
- 25 Jürgen Roelandts Movistar Team +1'52"
- 69 Carlos Barbero Movistar Team +6'17"
- 75 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team "
- 83 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +6'23"
- — Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team DNF
- — Imanol Erviti Movistar Team DNF
- — Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team DNF