Feb 29: 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad celebrates its 75th birthday on Saturday, 29 February with editions for Men and Women – winners include Ian Stannard,  van Avermaet, Gilbert, Museew, van Petergem, Raas, Merckx, De Vlaeminck, Maertens and Verbeeck

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Feb 29: 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Event Press Release

Apart from the fact the race takes place on a leap day in 2020 and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad celebrates its 75th birthday, there are hardly any changes this year to the first WorldTour race of the season on European soil. Just like in 2019 the traditional opener of the Classics season starts at ’t Kuipke in Ghent and finishes on the Onderwijslaan in Ninove. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad takes place on Saturday, 29 February 2020.

Traditions are great and should be honoured. Therefore, we will start the day with a joint team presentation of both the men’s and women’s teams in ‘t Kuipke in Ghent. “Ghent is a real cycling city and the traditional first race of the Classics season: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, should be part of this city,” councilwoman Sofie Bracke says enthusiastically. “Cycling fans from Ghent and from outside our city will welcome the riders with open arms in a roaring Kuipke. Together with Flanders Classics we will transform the start of the race into a true celebration of cycling.”

Unchanged course
The courses of the first European WorldTour-race have hardly changed for both the men’s and women’s pelotons. Race Director Scott Sunderland: “Both courses, for women and men, are almost identical to the 2019 routes. They are tough, really difficult courses that needed no changes to invite aggressive and exciting styles of classics racing by the classics specialists we see each year at the Omloop in the opening weekend. Riders’ memories will be quickly jolted back into the grove of sprinting across the cobbled roads and while powering up the climbs of Flanders between Ghent and Ninove. These roads, the conditions and the spirit of the Omloop promote riders into Flandriens.”

Women’s Route

Haaghoek-Leberg and Muur-Bosberg

The men start their 200 kilometres of racing between Ghent and Ninove at 11.35am. They will encounter 13 climbs and nine cobbled sectors along the route to decide who will succeed Zdenek Stybar as the winner of the Omloop. After the traditional opening stages through Zottegem and Zwalm, the peloton reaches Horebeke for the first time. It’s the first of three passages of the Haaghoek-Leberg duo. As in previous years these two climbs will play a key role.

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In 2019 the Molenberg was promoted to a place towards the final of the race. This will not change in 2020. At 40 kilometres from the line the cobbled climb awaits the riders and follows after a 2500-metre-long cobbled sector in Mater. After the traditional Berendries climb the Elverenberg follows. The peloton rides via Lierde next towards Geraardsbergen. This means that the shorter route between Berendries and Muur will be the same as in 2019. The peloton thus reaches the final of the race with the iconic duo of Muur of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg. After this it’s another 13 kilometres to the finish line in Ninove where we will celebrate Zdenek Stybar’s successor on the 29th of February.

Intense course for women’s race unchanged

After the joint start presentation in ’t Kuipke the women will start ten minutes later than the men. Their route is 126 kilometres long and features ten climbs and five cobbled sectors, just like in 2019. The women’s race includes the Mater cobbles and the Molenberg, like the men’s race, followed by Berendries and Elverenberg. The women’s peloton then races via Tenbosse and the Eikenmolen to Geraardsbergen. The final, starting with the Muur and Bosberg as key points, is identical to that of the men’s race. Around 3.30pm we will know who succeeds Chantal Blaak as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner on the Onderwijslaan in Ninove.

Mayor of Ninove, Tania De Jonge: “As mayor, I look forward to this opening classic every year. I appreciate the tremendous efforts of each of our city services, the police and the fire brigade to make this a top event every year. Plus having the possibility to work together with the ‘omloopfinish team’ enables us to spoil every cycling enthusiast on this unique day. Welcome to Ninove, the oldest, the most daring, the wisest and most cycling loving city…”

So come to Ghent and Ninove on 29 February 2020 and celebrate 75 years of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with us.


Former winners mens

1945 Jean Bogaerts Alcyon-Dunlop Belgium
1946 André Pieters Alcyon-Dunlop Belgium
1947 Albert Sercu Bertin-Wolber Belgium
1948 Sylvain Grysolle Zircon Belgium
1949 André Declerck Bertin-Wolber Belgium
1950 André Declerck Bertin-Wolber Belgium
1951 Jean Bogaerts Starnord-Wolber Belgium
1952 Ernest Sterckx L’Avenir Belgium
1953 Ernest Sterckx L’Avenir Belgium
1954 Karel De Baere Mercier-BP-Hutchinson Belgium
1955 Lode Anthonis L’Avenir Belgium
1956 Ernest Sterckx L’Avenir Belgium
1957 Norbert Kerckhove Faema-Guerra Belgium
1958 Joseph Planckaert Carpano Belgium
1959 Seamus Elliott Helyett-Fynsec Ireland
1960 No race
1961 Arthur De Cabooter Groene Leeuw-Sinalco-SAS Belgium
1962 Robert De Middeleir Wiel’s-Groene Leeuw Belgium
1963 René Van Meenen Wiel’s-Groene Leeuw Belgium
1964 Frans Melckenbeek Mercier-BP-Hutchinson Belgium
1965 Noël De Pauw Solo-Superia Belgium
1966 Jo de Roo Televizier-Batavus Netherlands
1967 Willy Vekemans Goldor-Gerka Belgium
1968 Herman Van Springel Mann-Grundig Belgium
1969 Roger De Vlaeminck Flandria–De Clerck–Krüger Belgium
1970 Frans Verbeeck Geens-Watney Belgium
1971 Eddy Merckx Molteni Belgium
1972 Frans Verbeeck Watney-Avia Belgium
1973 Eddy Merckx Molteni Belgium
1974 Joseph Bruyère Molteni Belgium
1975 Joseph Bruyère Molteni-RYC Belgium
1976 Willem Peeters Ijsboerke-Colnago Belgium
1977 Freddy Maertens Flandria–Velda–Latina Assicurazioni Belgium
1978 Freddy Maertens Flandria–Velda–Lano Belgium
1979 Roger De Vlaeminck Gis Gelati Belgium
1980 Joseph Bruyère Marc-Carlos-V.R.D. Belgium
1981 Jan Raas TI–Raleigh–Creda Netherlands
1982 Alfons De Wolf Vermeer Thijs Belgium
1983 Alfons De Wolf Bianchi-Piaggio Belgium
1984 Eddy Planckaert Panasonic Belgium
1985 Eddy Planckaert Panasonic Belgium
1986 No race due to snow
1987 Teun van Vliet Panasonic Netherlands
1988 Ronny Van Holen Roland Belgium
1989 Etienne De Wilde Histor-Sigma Belgium
1990 Johan Capiot TVM Belgium
1991 Andreas Kappes Toshiba-Look Germany
1992 Johan Capiot TVM–Sanyo Belgium
1993 Wilfried Nelissen Novemail-Histor Belgium
1994 Wilfried Nelissen Novemail-Histor Belgium
1995 Franco Ballerini Mapei–GB–Latexco Italy
1996 Tom Steels Mapei–GB Belgium
1997 Peter Van Petegem TVM–Farm Frites Belgium
1998 Peter Van Petegem TVM–Farm Frites Belgium
1999 Frank Vandenbroucke Cofidis Belgium
2000 Johan Museeuw Mapei–Quick-Step Belgium
2001 Michele Bartoli Mapei–Quick-Step Italy
2002 Peter Van Petegem Lotto–Adecco Belgium
2003 Johan Museeuw Quick-Step–Davitamon Belgium
2004 No race due to snow
2005 Nick Nuyens Quick-Step–Innergetic Belgium
2006 Philippe Gilbert Française des Jeux Belgium
2007 Filippo Pozzato Liquigas Italy
2008 Philippe Gilbert Française des Jeux Belgium
2009 Thor Hushovd Cervélo TestTeam Norway
2010 Juan Antonio Flecha Team Sky Spain
2011 Sebastian Langeveld Rabobank Netherlands
2012 Sep Vanmarcke Garmin–Barracuda Belgium
2013 Luca Paolini Team Katusha Italy
2014 Ian Stannard Team Sky Great Britain
2015 Ian Stannard Team Sky Great Britain
2016 Greg Van Avermaet BMC Racing Team Belgium
2017 Greg Van Avermaet BMC Racing Team Belgium
2018 Michael Valgren Astana Denmark
2019 Zdeněk Štybar Deceuninck–Quick-Step Czech Republic


2006  Suzanne de Goede
2007  Mie Bekker Lacota
2008  Kirsten Wild
2009  Suzanne de Goede
2010  Emma Johansson
2011  Emma Johansson
2012  Loes Gunnewijk
2013  Tiffany Cromwell
2014  Amy Pieters
2015  Anna van der Breggen
2016  Lizzie Armitstead
2017  Lucinda Brand
2018  Christina Siggaard
2019  Chantal Blaak


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