Classics season is here, with Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad kicking off the spring series of one-day races across Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy.
The one-day race from Gent to Ninove will take in 13 hills and 14 cobbled sections, including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, while the women's race features 10 hills and nine cobbled sections. While it's not a form signifier for the cobbled Monuments in April, the race is the first major meeting of the cobbled stars in 2021.
Last year's winner, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) will be back to defend his title, while other big names on the start list include Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citröen Team) and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal). The participation of Matthieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) is still up in the air.
Cyclingnews will be bringing you full reports, results, news, interviews, and analysis throughout the race. Read on to find out how to watch Omloop Het Nieuwsblad via live stream, no matter your location, with ExpressVPN.
There are many more star names set to race on Saturday, too. Stuyven will be joined by former World Champion Mads Pedersen, while Alaphiliippe's stacked Deceuninck-QuickStep squad also includes Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Štybar.
Van Avermaet will be testing his new Classics partnership with Oliver Naesen at the race, while Gilbert is joined by Tim Wellens. UAE Team Emirates will do the same with Alexander Kristoff and new signing Matteo Trentin, too.
Nils Politt will lead Bora-Hansgrohe, with Peter Sagan set to miss the race for the fourth year in a row, while Arnaud Démare heads up Groupama-FDJ's challenge and Sep Vanmarcke makes his Classics debut for Israel Start-Up Nation.
Elsewhere, Tiesj Benoot and Søren Kragh Andersen lead a strong Team DSM squad which also includes Romain Bardet. Tom Pidcock makes his Ineos Grenadiers debut in the Classics alongside Gianni Moscon, as Niki Terpstra leads Total Direct Énergie.
In the women's race, Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen will be joined on the start line by Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal), Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), among a host of other star names.
The men will take on a 200.5km course around Flanders with a host of famous climbs on the menu. The Wolvenberg, Molenberg and Berendries are all on the menu, though the final one-two punch of the Muur and Bosberg will likely be decisive. The women will tackle those climbs, too, though over a 122.9-km course.
Read on for all the information on how to watch 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream
The 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will be shown on Eurosport and GCN in Britainn and Europe this year after the parties came to an agreement on coverage just this week. A subscription to Eurosport Player costs £6.99 for a single month, £4.99 for a year-long monthly pass, or £39.99 for a 12-month pass, while GCN+ is offering a year’s subscription for half its usual cost, at just £19.99 / €19.99 throughout February.
In the USA, the race will be aired on Flobikes with plans starting from $12.50 per month. The race is also aired on GCN+ in North America. For the month of February, a subscription will set you back $24.99 for the year – that's 50 per cent off, with a year costing the regular price of $49.99 thereafter.
If you live outside a broadcast zone or are on holiday outside your country and find that the live streams to be geo-restricted, you can get around this by getting access to them by simulating being back in your home country via a 'virtual private network', or VPN, for your laptop, tablet or mobile.
Our sister site TechRadar tested hundreds of VPNs and recommends the number-one VPN currently available as Express VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can watch on many devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets, etc.
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