Today’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is one of the six Flanders Classic races and marks together with tomorrow’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne the start of the Classics season in Belgium.
Right after the start of the 200km race, five riders with Astana rider Manuele Boaro went up the road and opened up an advantage of some minutes. Inside the 100km to go mark, on the first pave sections, the breakaway was caught by the reduced bunch.
As usual in these spring races, the spectators saw a nervous race with many attacks. Inside the final 35km, several groups have formed and a group of seven riders led the race. Unfortunately, Astana was in one of the chasing groups some minutes behind the leaders, and therefore played no role in the race for a podium spot today.
After 13 hills and nine cobblestones sections, the race arrived in Ninove and two guys were able to distance themselves from their former breakaway mates. After 200 demanding kilometers, Jasper Stuyven took home the win. Astana Pro Team rider Fabio Felline crossed the line several minutes behind the winner.
- Today, we started the Classics season and it was a tough start. The race was long and the weather conditions made the 200 kilometers even harder. Rain and temperatures of eight degrees made it a hard day in the saddle. Our plan was to go with Manuele into the breakaway of the day, which worked out. He showed a good performance, but in the end, unfortunately, we did not make it into the select group at the front and therefore we played no role for the finale in Ninove. Tomorrow we will start at Kuurne – Brussel – Kuurne. Another 200km race, where we will try it again. – Stefano Zanini, Sports Director
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