Etixx - Quick-Step to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne
Etixx - Quick-Step has announced the selections that will participate in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, on Saturday, February 28th, and Sunday, March 1st.
The 70th edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad officially launches the start of the 2015 spring classics. The 200.2km race features 11 hellingen, including many of the climbs also featured, or formerly featured, in Ronde van Vlaanderen. The hellingen include the Muur, Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Mollenberg, and Leberg. There are also ten cobbled sections.
As for the 67th edition of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Tom Boonen won the 2014 edition of the race. This race can be more of an opportunity for a sprint, whether bunch or small group, than Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The final hellingen is 53km before the finish. There are nine total hellingen, with all but one being passed prior to the middle of the race. Notable hellingen include, but are not limited to, Kruisberg, Nokereberg, and Oude Kwaremont.
"The parcours hasn't changed much, so the final is the same," Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. "For all the riders it's the first test to see where they are on this kind of parcours before the big Classics. The masks will fall off. We are at the start with a strong team, with riders in good condition that can be a part of the actions and play a part in the final. So we are pretty confident in our abilities to be a protagonist. The last time we won this race was 10 years ago with Nick Nuyens, but the finish was still in Lokeren. Tom Boonen was 2nd that day. Now we hope after 10 years that we can do a good race and try to get a win.
"The weekend will continue with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, a race where we have a tradition of success including a victory last year with Tom," Peeters continued. "He's won this race three times. As usual Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne will be an open race, with a lot of attacks. We have riders for any solution, whether out of a breakaway or a group arrival. If there is a bunch sprint, Mark Cavendish will be there. He raced in 2012 for the first time and he won, so his success rate is high. We will try to do our best for a good result on Sunday as well."
To access the selection for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, click here
To find the selection for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, click the button for "More Information" below.