Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad races are the first major meetings for cobbled stars in the spring Classics for the men, covering several weeks racing across Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy.
Many of the teams were in Belgium this week to preview the course, a 76th edition covering 200 kilometres with 13 hills and 14 cobbled sections, including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Last year's winner, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), will be back to defend his title, and his team was seen on the cobbles and climbs. Other big names pre-riding the course included Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citröen Team) and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal).
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women is the first 'big' race of the season for the women’s peloton. The 2021 route will cover 126 kilometres after a start in Gent and will include five cobbled sectors and 10 climbs, three of which are cob
The SD Worx team was training this week on the cobbles, including Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, a four-time podium finisher in the one-day opener that includes her victory in the 2019 edition, and reigning double world champion Anna van der Breggen, who will try to unseat 2020 winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).
Cyclingnews will provide full reports, results, news, interviews, and analysis throughout the races on Saturday.
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