Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Race details
Date Late February
Region Flanders, Belgium
Local name(s) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (flemish)
Nickname(s) The Omloop
Discipline Road
Competition UCI Europe Tour
Type One-day
First edition Men: 1945 (1945)
Women: 2006 (2006)
Editions Men: 70 (as of 2015)
Women: 10 (as of 2015)
First winner Men:  Jean Bogaerts (BEL)
Women:  Suzanne de Goede (NED)
Most wins

Men: (3 wins)
 Ernest Sterckx (BEL)
 Joseph Bruyere (BEL)
 Peter Van Petegem (BEL)

Women: (2 wins)
 Suzanne de Goede (NED)
 Emma Johansson (SWE)
Most recent Men:  Ian Stannard (GBR)
Women:  Anna van der Breggen (NED)

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, previously Omloop Het Volk, is a single day cycling race in Belgium. It is the opening event on the Belgian cycling calendar, usually held on the last Saturday in February or the first in March, and holds significant prestige because of it.[1] Due to its early calendar date, it is characterized by often cold weather, coming as a contrast to the early-season stage races in the Middle East or Southern Europe. The race starts and finishes in Ghent, East Flanders, and addresses the Flemish Ardennes in the south of the province, featuring numerous short cobbled climbs, before returning to Ghent. It is organized by Flanders Classics.

First held in 1945, the race was organized by Flemish newspaper Het Volk, in response to rivaling newspaper Het Nieuwsblad’s Classic, the Tour of Flanders. The Omloop, with the start and finish in Ghent, used much of the same roads as the Tour of Flanders, and is for that reason often used in preparation for the bigger event. The race was known as Omloop Het Volk until 2008. When newspaper Het Volk merged with Het Nieuwsblad, the race was renamed Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the 64th edition in 2009.[2]

Since 2006, a women's edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is held on the same day as the men's race, starting and finishing in Ghent, of approximately 130 kilometres distance.


Belgians have dominated the race, aided by large, supportive crowds, and comfortable with cobbles and the cold. In 68 editions, there have been only five winners from outside northern Europe: Italians Franco Ballerini, Michele Bartoli, Filippo Pozzato, Luca Paolini, and Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha. Another Italian, Fausto Coppi won in 1948 but was disqualified for taking a wheel from the Belgian Walschott, who was not of his team.[3]

The record for wins is three, held by Joseph Bruyère (1974, 1975 and 1980), Ernest Sterckx (1952, 1953 and 1956) and Peter van Petegem (1997, 1998 and 2002). Bruyère has the fastest speed (43.35 km/h) for 1975.

Other winners include Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens and Johan Museeuw. Dutchman Jan Raas won in 1981 after finishing second in 1977, third in 1978, second in 1979 and fourth in 1980.


Due to its early-season calendar date, the race has occasionally been affected by cold and wintry conditions. The organizers rely on weather forecasts and adjust the course if the cobbled climbs are deemed unsafe. Snow fell the night before the 1955, 1974 and 1988 races but they were still run. The 1971 race was postponed due to snow and run three weeks later on Thursday 26 March when the GP Pino Cerami moved to another date. There was a thaw on the afternoon of the original date and the following day's Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne went ahead.

Three editions of the event were cancelled. The 1986 edition was cancelled because of snow and was not moved to a later date. In 2004 race organiser Wim Van Herreweghe said: "The safety of the riders could not be guaranteed, the snow and freezing cold made the route too dangerous." The race was cancelled.

The 1960 race was also cancelled but due to a disagreement between the organisers and ruling body, the UCI. The UCI had given better dates to other Belgian races and Het Volk abandoned the race in protest.


Het Volk started and finished in Ghent between 1945 and 1995. From 1996 until 2007 the finish of the race was in Lokeren, 20 km east of Ghent.

In 2008 the race finished in Ghent with 11 climbs and 16 km of cobbles in 199 km The start is outside Ghent's Museum of Contemporary Art, the first 70 km is flat before 40 km including five short, sharp climbs and one cobbled sector. Another flat part is followed by 55 km which includes the cobbled sectors of Donderij and Hof ter Fiennestraat and the climbs of the Oud Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg and the Wolvenberg. The Molenberg is the final climb 39 km from the finish and this short climb which averages almost 10% in gradient can be the launching point for a winning break. The race finishes in the centre of Ghent on the thoroughfare of Charles de Kerchovelaan in front of the Citadelpark.[4][5]

Men's winners[edit]

Podium of the 2015 event: Niki Terpstra, winner Ian Stannard and Tom Boonen.
Rider Team
1945 Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1946 Belgium Pieters, AndreAndré Pieters (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1947 Belgium Sercu, AlbertAlbert Sercu (BEL) Bertin-Wolber
1948 Belgium Grysolle, SylvainSylvain Grysolle (BEL) Zircon
1949 Belgium Declerck, AndreAndré Declerck (BEL) Bertin-Wolber
1950 Belgium Declerck, AndreAndré Declerck (BEL) Bertin-Wolber
1951 Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL) Starnord-Wolber
1952 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL) L'Avenir
1953 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL) L'Avenir
1954 Belgium De Baere, KarelKarel De Baere (BEL) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1955 Belgium Anthonis, LodeLode Anthonis (BEL) L'Avenir
1956 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL) L'Avenir
1957 Belgium Kerckhove, NorbertNorbert Kerckhove (BEL) Faema-Guerra
1958 Belgium Planckaert, JosephJoseph Planckaert (BEL) Carpano
1959 Republic of Ireland Elliott, SeamusSeamus Elliott (IRL) Helyett-Fynsec
1960 No race
1961 Belgium De Cabooter, ArthurArthur De Cabooter (BEL) Groene Leeuw-Sinalco-SAS
1962 Belgium De Middeleir, RobertRobert De Middeleir (BEL) Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1963 Belgium Van Meenen, RenéRené Van Meenen (BEL) Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1964 Belgium Melckenbeek, FransFrans Melckenbeek (BEL) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1965 Belgium De Pauw, NoelNoél De Pauw (BEL) Solo-Superia
1966 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED) Televizier-Batavus
1967 Belgium Vekemans, WillyWilly Vekemans (BEL) Goldor-Gerka
1968 Belgium Vanspringel, HermanHerman Vanspringel (BEL) Mann-Grundig
1969 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Flandria–De Clerck–Krüger
1970 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL) Geens-Watney
1971 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1972 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL) Watney-Avia
1973 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1974 Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL) Molteni
1975 Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL) Molteni-RYC
1976 Belgium Peeters, WillemWillem Peeters (BEL) Ijsboerke-Colnago
1977 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria–Velda
1978 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria–Velda–Lano
1979 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Gis Gelati
1980 Belgium Bruyère, JosephJoseph Bruyère (BEL) Marc-Carlos-V.R.D.
1981 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) TI-Raleigh
1982 Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL) Vermeer Thijs
1983 Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL) Bianchi-Piaggio
1984 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL) Panasonic
1985 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL) Panasonic
1986 No race due to snow
1987 Netherlands Vliet, Teun vanTeun van Vliet (NED) Panasonic
1988 Belgium Van Holen, RonnyRonny Van Holen (BEL) Roland
1989 Belgium De Wilde, EtienneEtienne De Wilde (BEL) Histor-Sigma
1990 Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM
1991 Germany Kappes, AndreasAndreas Kappes (GER) Toshiba-Look
1992 Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM–Sanyo
1993 Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1994 Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1995 Italy Ballerini, FrancoFranco Ballerini (ITA) Mapei–GB–Latexco
1996 Belgium Steels, TomTom Steels (BEL) Mapei–GB
1997 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM–Farm Frites
1998 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM–Farm Frites
1999 Belgium Vandenbroucke, FrankFrank Vandenbroucke (BEL) Cofidis
2000 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Mapei–Quick-Step
2001 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2002 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) Lotto–Adecco
2003 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Quick-Step–Davitamon
2004 No race due to snow
2005 Belgium Nuyens, NickNick Nuyens (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
2006 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2007 Italy Pozzato, FilippoFilippo Pozzato (ITA) Liquigas
2008 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2009 Norway Hushovd, ThorThor Hushovd (NOR) Cervélo TestTeam
2010 Spain Flecha, Juan AntonioJuan Antonio Flecha (ESP) Team Sky
2011 Netherlands Langeveld, SebastianSebastian Langeveld (NED) Rabobank
2012 Belgium Vanmarcke, SepSep Vanmarcke (BEL) Garmin–Barracuda
2013 Italy Paolini, LucaLuca Paolini (ITA) Team Katusha
2014 United Kingdom Stannard, IanIan Stannard (GBR) Team Sky
2015 United Kingdom Stannard, IanIan Stannard (GBR) Team Sky

Multiple winners[edit]

Riders is italics are active

Wins Rider Editions
3  Ernest Sterckx (BEL) 1952, 1953, 1956
 Joseph Bruyère (BEL) 1974, 1975, 1980
 Peter Van Petegem (BEL) 1997, 1998, 2002
2  Jean Bogaerts (BEL) 1945, 1951
 André Declerck (BEL) 1949, 1950
 Frans Verbeeck (BEL) 1970, 1972
 Eddy Merckx (BEL) 1971, 1973
 Freddy Maertens (BEL) 1977, 1978
 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL) 1969, 1979
 Fons De Wolf (BEL) 1982, 1983
 Eddy Planckaert (BEL) 1984, 1985
 Johan Capiot (BEL) 1990, 1992
 Wilfried Nelissen (BEL) 1993, 1994
 Johan Museeuw (BEL) 2000, 2003
 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 2006, 2008
 Ian Stannard (GBR) 2014, 2015

Wins per country[edit]

Wins Country
54  Belgium
4  Italy,  Netherlands
2  United Kingdom
1  Germany,  Ireland,  Norway,  Spain

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for Women elite[edit]

Since 2006 there is a women's version of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Held on the same dy as the men's event, it uses much of the same roads and equally opens the women's cycling season in Northern Europe. In recent editions the route is 122 km, featuring eight climbs and six sections of cobbles.[6] Dutch rider Suzanne de Goede and Sweden's Emma Johansson have won the race twice.

Edition Winner Second Third
2006 Netherlands Suzanne de Goede Netherlands Mirjam Melchers Germany Tanja Hennes
2007 Denmark Mie Bekker Lacota Sweden Monica Holler Netherlands Jaccolien Wallaard
2008 Netherlands Kirsten Wild Germany Angela Brodtka Sweden Emma Johansson
2009 Netherlands Suzanne de Goede Italy Noemi Cantele Belgium Kelly Druyts
2010 Sweden Emma Johansson Netherlands Liesbet De Vocht Belgium Grace Verbeke
2011 Sweden Emma Johansson Netherlands Andrea Bosman Netherlands Chantal Blaak
2012 Netherlands Loes Gunnewijk Netherlands Ellen van Dijk Germany Trixi Worrack
2013 Australia Tiffany Cromwell United States Megan Guarnier Sweden Emma Johansson
2014 Netherlands Amy Pieters Sweden Emma Johansson United Kingdom Lizzie Armitstead
2015 Netherlands Anna van der Breggen Netherlands Ellen van Dijk United Kingdom Lizzie Armitstead

References and footnotes[edit]


  1. ^ Barry, Ryan. "Omloop Het Nieuwsblad marks coming of Belgian spring. Boonen, Wiggins and Cavendish on show at opening weekend". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ The rules allowed assistance only from team-mates.
  4. ^ Gives details of new route.
  5. ^ Gives details of new route.
  6. ^ "Van der Breggen wins women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 

External links[edit]