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Jasper Stuyven wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Arrival Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Celebration Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Arrival Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Celebration Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Belgian Jasper Stuyven of TrekSegafredo rides ahead of Belgian Yves Lampaert of Deceuninck QuickStep and Danish Asjorn Kragh Andersen of Team Sunweb at the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Belgian Jasper Stuyven of TrekSegafredo rides ahead of Belgian Yves Lampaert of Deceuninck QuickStep and Danish Asjorn Kragh Andersen of Team Sunweb at the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Luke Rowe of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Luke Rowe of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Riders in action during the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Riders in action during the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Holleweg Cobblestones Peloton Fans Public Helicopter Landscape during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Holleweg Cobblestones Peloton Fans Public Helicopter Landscape during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Holleweg Cobblestones Peloton Fans Public Helicopter Landscape during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Holleweg Cobblestones Peloton Fans Public Helicopter Landscape during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Matteo Trentin of Italy and CCC Team Mike Teunissen of The Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Matteo Trentin of Italy and CCC Team Mike Teunissen of The Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Breakaway during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Riders in action during the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Riders in action during the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Peloton Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Peloton Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Michael Valgren Andersen of Denmark and NTT Pro Cycling Team Peloton Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Michael Valgren Andersen of Denmark and NTT Pro Cycling Team Peloton Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and CCC Team Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and CCC Team Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Rider of Deceuninck QuickStep pictured at the start of the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Rider of Deceuninck QuickStep pictured at the start of the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team JumboVisma Sep Vanmarcke of Belgium and Team EF Education First during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team JumboVisma Sep Vanmarcke of Belgium and Team EF Education First during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Amund Grndahl Jansen of Norway and Team Jumbo Visma Franklin Six of Belgium and Team Wallonie Bruxelles Ide Schelling of The Netherlands and Team Bora Hansgrohe Crash Peloton during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Amund Grndahl Jansen of Norway and Team Jumbo Visma Franklin Six of Belgium and Team Wallonie Bruxelles Ide Schelling of The Netherlands and Team Bora Hansgrohe Crash Peloton during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Echelons due Crosswind Peloton Fans Public during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Echelons due Crosswind Peloton Fans Public during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Belgian Wout Van Aert of Team JumboVisma pictured at the start of the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Belgian Wout Van Aert of Team JumboVisma pictured at the start of the mens elite race of the 75th edition of the oneday cycling race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 200km from Merelbeke to Ninove Saturday 29 February 2020BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Haaghoek Cobblestones Peloton Landscape Public Fans during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Haaghoek Cobblestones Peloton Landscape Public Fans during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Molenberg 463m Cobblestones Fans Public during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Molenberg 463m Cobblestones Fans Public during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Haaghoek Cobblestones Peloton Landscape Public Fans during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Haaghoek Cobblestones Peloton Landscape Public Fans during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE, BELGIUM - FEBRUARY 29: Podium / Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton-SCOTT World Champion Jersey / Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek - Segafredo / Celebration / Trophy / during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020, Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove / @OmloopHNB / #OHN20 /on February 29, 2020 in Ninove, Belgium. (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

NINOVE, BELGIUM - FEBRUARY 29: Podium / Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton-SCOTT World Champion Jersey / Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek - Segafredo / Celebration / Trophy / during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020, Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove / @OmloopHNB / #OHN20 /on February 29, 2020 in Ninove, Belgium. (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Celebration Champagne during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Celebration Champagne during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Sren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Sren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Arrival Matteo Trentin of Italy and CCC Team during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Arrival Matteo Trentin of Italy and CCC Team during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)
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NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Podium Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark and Team Sunweb Celebration Trophy during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) claimed the biggest victory of his career to date when he fended off Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in a two-up sprint to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Ninove.

The Belgian pair were the strongest members of a winning move that took shape with more than 70km remaining, and they underscored the point by forcing the pace on the Muur van Geraardsbergen in the finale, where only Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) could follow.

That trio carried a lead of 10 seconds over lone chaser Matteo Trentin (CCC) onto the final ascent of the Bosberg, and they collaborated relatively smoothly until the final approach to Ninove, where their pursuer's efforts finally began to tell.

Lampaert definitely shattered the unity of the break by accelerating viciously with 2km to go, only for Stuyven to respond in kind. Neither man could shake off the other, through their respective shows of strength did succeed in distancing Andersen, who had to settle for third place.

On the run-in, Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Tom Steels had looked to reassure Lampaert by telling him over the radio that he was strongest man in the front group, but the Belgian knew that Stuyven was the fastest. Lampaert thus manoeuvred his fellow countryman to the front in the final kilometre and forced him to lead out the sprint, but to no avail. Stuyven was simply too quick for Lampaert, though he also had the nous to drift slightly to the left in the sprint to make sure he wasn't passed on the barriers.

Hailed as the coming man of Flemish cycling when he entered the professional peloton in 2014, Stuyven underscored that status by winning Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne four years ago. It was a win that seemed to herald a breakthrough, though it was a long time in coming. After a subdued Classics campaign in 2019, Stuyven rethought his approach this time out.

"It's a great pleasure to show that I am back," Stuyven said. "Last season, I was constantly chasing after the fact. But we did end the year well with Mads Pedersen's world title. We were motivated to continue in that line this season, and we're succeeding very well. Omloop is the biggest victory of my career."

Stuyven's victory had its genesis in a move that took shape over the top of the Rekelberg, some 71km from the finish in Ninove and just after the worst of the day's rain had abated. When Andersen, Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education First), and Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) went up the road, Stuyven bridged across in the company of Lampaert and Trentin.

The alchemy of a successful break in the Flemish Ardennes is hard to achieve, but this one had all the right elements – namely a group of strongmen representing a spread of teams, including two from Deceuninck-QuickStep. With only Ineos inclined to marshal a pursuit behind, the escapees soon open a lead of more than two minutes. For at least the last 50km, it was clear that the winner would come from their number.

"I told the team yesterday that we had to ride well in front, especially in this weather. And that paid off," said Stuyven, who matched Lampaert pedal stroke for pedal stroke on the Muur, and then attack for attack on the final approach to Ninove. Only a two-up sprint could separate them.

How it unfolded

After a raucous signing-on ceremony in the Kuipke velodrome, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad peloton set out from Ghent beneath grey skies and temporarily dry conditions, but they would be buffeted by wind and rain as the day progressed.

Mindful of the difficulties to come, the peloton was content to let a five-man move slip away early on, with Senne Leysen (Alpecin-Fenix), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles), Lluís Mas (Movistar), Manuele Boaro (Astana) and Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) forging clear. Kenneth Vanbilsen's (Cofidis) lone chase – a so-called chasse-patate – came to nothing and the five leaders built a buffer of 7:30 before the CCC team began working to peg them back.

The first deviation from the script came on the sector of pavé at Huisepontweg pavé, where the bunch split into multiple groups. Ineos and Trek-Segafredo were well represented in a first group of 16 riders, with 5 and 4 riders, respectively, with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) also aboard. Their gap grew to half a minute, with CCC compelled to lead a chase that lasted for 25km and put multiple riders in early difficulty.

There was a general regrouping shortly after the five leaders were stopped at a level crossing in Asper, better known for the Asper-Gavere cyclo-cross race, and ended up being stopped at a railway crossing, leaving 60 or so riders in contention as Omloop reached its midway point after 100 kilometres.

Ten kilometres later, the pace shot back up on the race's second visit to the Haaghoek cobbles and Leberg climb. Stuyven and Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) were among the strongmen who helped to create a lead group consisting mostly of team leaders, but once more, riders bridged back up to form a reduced peloton at the head of the race

It was a precursor of what was to come on the narrow streets after the Rekelberg, when Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education First), Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) and Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) went up the road. They were joined soon afterwards by Stuyven, Lampaert, Trentin and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma). Over 70km still remained, but the winning move had taken shape.

Luke Rowe (Ineos) initially worked hard to keep the eight leaders within 15 seconds, but the gap widened considerably on the wide concrete road that followed the Valkenberg climb. In the peloton, there was no co-operation and suddenly the seven leaders – Rutsch was dropped with an apparent hunger knock – had a gap of 2:30.

Lukas Pöstlbergher (Bora-Hansgrohe), Heinrich Haussler, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Jenthe Biermans (Israel Start-up Nation) and Dries Van Gestel (Total Direct Energie) launched a late counter-attack, but they never came closer than 1:30 behind the leaders. They were later joined by Van Aert and Benoot, who bridged across after attacking from the peloton on the Berendries with 30km to go. The peloton, however, was reluctant to grant Van Aert any leeway, and the counter-attack was swept up ahead of the Muur.

The seven leaders reached Geraardsbergen with 1:45 in hand on the peloton, and the group fragmented on the steep slopes of the Muur, with Declercq the first to feel the pinch. 

Stuyven and Lampaert kicked their way clear of the rest on the most demanding section, where Andersen did well to limit his losses and catch back up at the top of the descent. Trentin crested the summit a further 10 seconds back. He battled gamely to get back on, but the strongmen had already taken flight.

Results

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek - Segafredo 5:03:24
2Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step
3Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:06
4Matteo Trentin (Ita) Ccc Team 0:00:39
5Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step 0:01:28
6Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma
7Oliver Naesen (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama - Fdj
10Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick - Step
11Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo - Visma
12Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora - Hansgrohe
13Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Ccc Team
14Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb
15Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
16Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar Team
17Silvan Dillier (Swi) Ag2R La Mondiale
18Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain - Mclaren
19Aime De Gendt (Bel) Circus - Wanty Gobert
20Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe 0:02:10
21Michael Valgren Hundahl (Den) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
22Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain - Mclaren 0:02:20
23Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Ef Pro Cycling
24Scott Thwaites (GBr) Alpecin - Fenix
25Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
26Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Ccc Team
27Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
28Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
29Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
30Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie
31Michael Schär (Swi) Ccc Team
32Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck - Quick - Step
33Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie
34Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:24
35Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick - Step 0:04:03
36Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck - Quick - Step
37Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start - Up Nation
38Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos
39Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma 0:04:48
40Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:04:53
41Clement Venturini (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
42Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
43Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Ntt Pro Cycling Team 0:05:58
44Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
45Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek - Segafredo 0:06:00
46Christophe Noppe (Bel) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:07:26
47Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start - Up Nation
48Marco Marcato (Ita) Uae Team Emirates
49Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Ineos
50Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain - Mclaren
51Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Ef Pro Cycling
52Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton - Scott
53Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton - Scott
54Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos
55Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start - Up Nation 0:09:32
56Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora - Hansgrohe
57Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Circus - Wanty Gobert
58Alexander Konychev (Ita) Mitchelton - Scott
59Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
60Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Ccc Team
61Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis
62Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea - Samsic
63Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
64Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
65Petr Vakoč (Cze) Alpecin - Fenix
66Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek - Segafredo
67Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Jumbo - Visma
68Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Pro Team
69Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain - Mclaren 0:09:46
DNFPatrick Gamper (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Lotto Soudal
DNFMartin Laas (Est) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFBrian Van Goethem (Ned) Lotto Soudal
DNFQuinn Simmons (USA) Trek - Segafredo
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Trek - Segafredo
DNFLuka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain - Mclaren
DNFAndreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFGijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Ccc Team
DNFEmils Liepins (Lat) Trek - Segafredo
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step
DNFFranklin Six (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFEmmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis
DNFDamien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Trek - Segafredo
DNFDmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFJonas Rutsch (Ger) Ef Pro Cycling
DNFLawrence Naesen (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFTom Scully (NZl) Ef Pro Cycling
DNFDorian Godon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFJulius Van Den Berg (Ned) Ef Pro Cycling
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
DNFJonas Koch (Ger) Ccc Team
DNFAlex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team
DNFErik Baska (Svk) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFAlexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott
DNFHugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team
DNFZhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFGrega Bole (Slo) Bahrain - Mclaren
DNFManuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Bahrain - Mclaren
DNFLogan Owen (USA) Ef Pro Cycling
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFYoann Offredo (Fra) Circus - Wanty Gobert
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Circus - Wanty Gobert
DNFLoïc Vliegen (Bel) Circus - Wanty Gobert
DNFDanny Van Poppel (Ned) Circus - Wanty Gobert
DNFJoel Suter (Swi) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFMathijs Paasschens (Ned) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFSamuel Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton - Scott
DNFLudovic Robeet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFThomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFAksel Nõmmela (Est) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFFloris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix
DNFOtto Vergaerde (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix
DNFKristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin - Fenix
DNFSenne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix
DNFJuan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) Uae Team Emirates
DNFLionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFCasper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb
DNFNils Eekhoff (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFNico Denz (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNFNikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFAdrien Petit (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Circus - Wanty Gobert
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFGilles De Wilde (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFBram Welten (Ned) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFClément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFDaniel Mclay (GBr) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFKevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFCedric Beullens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFTom Bohli (Swi) Uae Team Emirates
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFMads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start - Up Nation
DNFVegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Uae Team Emirates
DNFGabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Movistar Team
DNFRobert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott
DNFJasha Sütterlin (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNFLuke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott
DNFKristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ef Pro Cycling
DNFMatteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
DNFKrists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start - Up Nation
DNFLuis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFGuillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start - Up Nation
DNFMarc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama - Fdj
DNFTobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama - Fdj
DNFFabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama - Fdj
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama - Fdj
DNFKévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama - Fdj
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) Groupama - Fdj
DNFTravis Mccabe (USA) Israel Start - Up Nation
DNFTaco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Cofidis
DNFMikkel Bjerg (Den) Uae Team Emirates
DNFAlexander Kristoff (Nor) Uae Team Emirates
DNFSamuele Battistella (Ita) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
DNFRasmus Tiller (Nor) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
DNFJuri Hollmann (Ger) Movistar Team
DNFMichael Gogl (Aut) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
DNFAlessandro Covi (Ita) Uae Team Emirates
DNFBert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma
DNFAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo - Visma
DNFLeonardo Basso (Ita) Team Ineos
DNFLuke Rowe (GBr) Team Ineos
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr) Team Ineos
DNFOwain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos
DNFEduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFAndreas Nielsen (Den) Ntt Pro Cycling Team
DNSAlexis Gougeard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale

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