Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2019 odds
Who wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2019?
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2019
The 74th edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is an upcoming one-day professional road cycling race, taking place on 2nd March 2019 in the Belgian region of Flanders. It’s the first top-tier professional cycling race of the Belgian cycling calendar and consists of a lot of the same climbs as the Tour of Flanders. It’s also the first European World Tour race of the season. Like the 2018 race, this year the finale includes the Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg climbs, while the finish line has been moved to Ninove. In total, the riders will race almost 200 km.
Michael Valgren (Team Dimension Data) is the current title holder, having soloed to victory in the 2018 race. He was joined on the podium by Lukasz Wiśniowski (CCC Team) and Sep Vanmarcke (Team EF Education First Pro Cycling Team).
Before that, Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet, from CCC Team, won back to back titles. In 2017, he finished ahead of Peter Sagan (Team Bora–Hansgrohe) and Sep Vanmarcke. Prior to the wins by Greg Van Avermaet, British rider Ian Stannard from Team Sky won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.
The 2019 route
Overall, the 2019 route takes the riders over thirteen hills and seven cobbled sections. The route is fairly similar to the 2018 route, but with a different finish.
Starting in Ghent, the will face the famous hellingen (hills) of Flanders. They’ll also have to battle the often unpredictable weather which makes the steep hills and cobbled roads particularly entertaining.
The climbing begins at the Leberg - a 950 metre climb at 4.2%, just after the first cobbled section at the Haaghoek. The Katteberg climb is around the halfway mark, before the Leberg appears for the second time around 110 km in. In the final 80 km, eight more hills and four cobbled sections feature, making the finale an intense ending.
The hills include the Rekelberg, 800 metres at 4% gradient, the Valkenberg, 540 metres at 8.1% gradient, and the Wolvenberg, 645 metres at 7.9% gradient. These are closely followed by the cobbled sections of the Ruiterstraat, Kerkgate and Jagerij. The Molenberg climb, 463 metres at 7% gradient, then leads onto the third climb of the Leberg, before taking the riders to the Berendries, 940 metres at 7% gradient, and Elverenberg/Vossenhol, 1.3 km at 3.6% gradient.
In the last stages of the race, the peloton will then tackle the Wall of Geraardsbergen, 475 metres at 9.3% gradient, and Bosberg, 980 metres at 5.8%, in quick succession. The final race to the end is then a flat 12.8 km to Ninove.
Who are the favourites?
Belgian riders have a been traditionally successful when it comes to winning in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. A Belgian rider has won the race fifty-six times. Two-time winner Greg Van Avermaet, previous winner Philippe Gilbert (Team Deceuninck - Quick Step) and Tim Wellens (Team Lotto Soudal) will be hoping for more Belgian success. While reigning champion Michael Valgren will also hope to podium once more.
They will face the challenge of Arnaud Demare (Team Groupama - FDJ) and Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb).