The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad marks the opening of the European season for the elite women, and a prime opportunity to set the tone for the year. In 2017, it was Team Sunweb who opened their account, with Lucinda Brand soloing to victory ahead of Chantal Blaak and Annemiek van Vleuten.
Brand will wear dossard 1 in this year's race, which marks the 12th edition for the women. Blaak returns in the rainbow bands of world champion.
The only other former winner slated to toe the line is Tiffany Cromwell, won won the race in 2013.
The complexion of the race has changed dramatically, however, with a much hillier route and the classic Tour of Flanders finale including the Tenbosse, Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg climbs coming in the last 27km of the 122.km race.