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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women - Live Coverage


Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women!

The women's field is lining up at the start in Ghent. They will be given the green light to begin their race in 10 minutes.

It's a beautiful afternoon in Ghent, if not a little cold at 8C, but the sub is shining.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women 2022

(Image credit: Flanders Classics / Omloop Het Nieuwsblad)

The women's field will be tackling five cobble sectors and nine short climbs today.

After a delayed start, due to some mechanicals in the peloton, the race is now underway.

Although it is not officially in the Women’s World Tour race, Omloop Het Niewsblad is an honorary member due to its function as the curtain-raiser to the Spring Classics, and the rest of the season. Even without defending champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx), who retired at the end of last season, there are many riders on the start line capable of winning today, like Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Balsamo and Emma Norsgaard Bjerg. Here are our riders to watch.

The first half of the race is largely flat but once the peloton hits the Edelareberg, 69km into the race, the climbs come thick and fast, interspersed with cobble sectors. Such a jagged profile, combined with the relatively short distance, lends itself to aggressive racing, so expect to see plenty of attacks.

For the meantime, though, the peloton remains together in the opening 20 kilometres of the race.

In preparation for the latter stages of the race, Lorena Wiebes fixed a list of the cobbles and climbs to the stem of her bike before starting.

97km to go:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is one of those races that can be won in many different ways. The last three editions ended in a solo victory, but in 2018 a sprint finish decided the winner. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team) finished third that year and said during the team presentation, “I hope it will be a good day and looking forward to the Opening Weekend. It was a special edition, (in 2018) there aren’t many years that finish in a bunch sprint. The last few editions have finished with a solo victory. We will see how it is going today but I think it will be a good day on the bike.”

The two riders in the breakaway are at opposite ends of their career. 

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Women 2022 - 14th Edition - Gent - Ninove 129,1 km - 26/02/2022 - Peloton - photo Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

The women's peloton at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Although she is not in the peloton today, defending champion Anna van der Breggen is at the race as a sports director for SD Worx. She is overseeing a team containing many of the day’s favourites including Lotte Kopecky, and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, who won in 2019.

88km to go: 

Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel confirmed to Cyclingnews that the UCI denied Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women a spot on the Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2022. 

The five chasers have bridged across to Newsom creating a breakaway of six. They have built a lead of about four minutes back to the peloton.

The race is now approaching the Hulsepontweg, the first cobbled section of the day which spans 1800m.

The five riders who bridged across to Newsom have been named as Kylie Waterreus (Lotto Soudal Ladies), Fien Delbaere (Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team), Laura Tomasi (UAE Team ADQ) and Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar-Travel & Service), as well as Betz who has rejoined the head of the race.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Women 2022 - 14th Edition - Gent - Ninove 129,1 km - 26/02/2022 - Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED - Movistar Team) - Ellen Van Dijk (NED - Trek - Segafredo) - Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak (NED - Team SD Worx) - Lotte Kopecky (BEL - Team SD Worx) - Elisa Balsamo (ITA - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Lotte Kopecky and Elisa Balsamo, resplendent in the Belgian national champion kit and rainbow jersey respectively, line up at the start line earlier today.  (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Anna van der Breggen

Anna van der Breggen gives a thumbs-up to the camera from her spot in the team car as SD Worx's sports director. (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

After the first cobbled section, the breakaway's lead has dropped slightly to 3'18". The race is now turning towards the town of Oudenaarde which marks the entrance to the Edelareberg, the day's first climb. 

Gran Camino 2022 - 1st Edition - 3rd stage Maceda - Luintra 148,7 km - 26/02/2022 - Emily Newsom (USA - EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Emily Newsom (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), whose solo escapade shaped the early part of this year's race. (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Live television pictures will begin shortly, coinciding with the peloton entering the most difficult part of the course.

Meanwhile, in the men's race, Wout van Aert soloed to an impressive victory ahead of Sonny Colbrelli and Oliver Naesen. You can read our race report here.

Over the first four climbs of the day, the breakaway's lead crumbled and they have been reabsorbed back into the peloton.

The van Dijk-led peloton has just negotiated the last and longest section of cobbles, and immediately begins to ascend the Leberg.

On the lower slopes of the Leberg Marlen Reusser accelerates, pulling a four-person group away comprised of Reusser, Liane Lippert, Anna Henderson, and Ellen van Dijk.

Meanwhile, at the back of the peloton, Sarah Roy and Emma Langley touch wheels and go down though they both get to their feet soon afterwards.

The dangerous group of Lippert, Henderson, van Dijk and Reusser seem to be extending their lead on the flat section of the course before the Berendries climb. Behind them, UAE Team ADQ and Team DSM are beginning to organise a chase.

Thirty seconds now separates the newly formed breakaway and the main field.























Van Vleuten comes through on the inside and opens up the sprint.

Vollering and van Vleuten are side by side in the sprint but van Vleuten proves to be the stronger rider and wins Omloop Het Niewsblad!

The chase group have been reabsorbed by the peloton, and Lorena Wiebes wins the bunch sprint for third place.

Van Vleuten smiles and celebrates with her Movistar teammates, while a little further down the road Vollering cuts a different figure, hunched over her handlebars. 

Annemiek van Vleuten has won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the second time in her career, you can read the full race report here.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women 3:28:15
2Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
3Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Team DSM Women 0:00:25
4Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
5Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar Team Women
7Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women
8Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
9Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
10Julie Leth (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Women 2022 - 14th Edition - Gent - Ninove 129,1 km - 26/02/2022 - Demi Vollering (NED - Team SD Worx) - Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED - Movistar Team) - photo Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Annemiek van Vleuten wins the sprint for victory, ahead of Demi Vollering. (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

"It is a really nice victory, especially because it was a team effort after the girls did the lead out into the Muur which makes it even more beautiful,” van Vleuten said in her post-race interview. “And then also to beat someone who is on paper faster and was all the time in your view but to still beat her, it’s quite nice to start the season like this."

Dutch Annemiek van Vleuten of Movistar Team celebrates after winning the womens elite race of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad oneday cycling race 1284km from Gent to Ninove on February 26 2022 Belgium OUT Photo by JASPER JACOBS various sources AFP Belgium OUT Photo by JASPER JACOBSBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten celebrates winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. (Image credit: Getty Images)

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