Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Wikis


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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Race details
Date Late February
Region Flanders, Belgium
Local name(s) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI Europe Tour
Type One-day race
First edition 1945
Editions 62 (as of 2009)
First winner  Jean Bogaerts (BEL)
Most wins 3 wins:
 Ernest Sterckx (BEL)
 Joseph Bruyere (BEL)
 Peter Van Petegem (BEL)
Most recent  Thor Hushovd (NOR)
The 2005 edition of Het Volk climbs the Oude Kwaremont (Picture courtesy of Eddy Van Laere of the Official Het Volk Site (

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (previously known as Omloop Het Volk) is a European semi classic single day cycle race held in the Belgian province of East Flanders.

The race was first held in 1945, organised by the newspaper Het Volk in response to Het Nieuwsblad’s Classic Ronde van Vlaanderen. The Omloop, with the start and finish in Ghent, uses many of the climbs in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and is for that reason often used in preparation for the bigger event.

The race was known as Omloop Het Volk until 2008. The newspaper Het Volk stopped publishing in 2008 and was taken over by Het Nieuwsblad, as a result of which the race was renamed to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the 64th edition in 2009.[1]

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the opening event on the Belgian cycling calendar and is usually held on the last Saturday in February or the first in March. It is characterised by cold weather and short cobbled climbs and comes as a contrast to the training camps of the Italian Riviera or the south of France.

Since 2006, a women's edition of the race of approximately 130 kilometres distance has also been held.


The weather

The race has been affected by snow. The organizers rely on weather forecasts and adjust the course if the cobbled climbs are deemed unsafe. Snow fell the night before the 1955, 1974 and 1988 races but they were still run. The 1971 race was postponed due to snow and run three weeks later on Thursday 26 March when the GP Pino Cerami moved to another date. There was a thaw on the afternoon of the original date and the following day's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne went ahead.

The 1986 edition was cancelled because of snow. It was not run later.

In 2004 race organiser Wim Van Herreweghe said: "The safety of the riders could not be guaranteed, the snow and freezing cold made the route too dangerous." The race was cancelled.

The 1960 race was also cancelled but due to a disagreement between the organisers and ruling body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI had given better dates to other Belgian races and Het Volk ababdoned the race in protest.


Belgians have dominated the race, aided by large, supportive crowds, and comfortable with cobbles and the cold. In 60 editions, there have been only three winners from outside northern Europe: the Italians Franco Ballerini, Michele Bartoli and Filippo Pozzato. Another Italian, Fausto Coppi won in 1948 but was disqualified for taking a wheel from the Belgian Walschott, who was not of his team.[2]

The record for wins is three, held by Joseph Bruyère (1974, 1975 and 1980), Ernest Sterckx (1952, 1953 and 1956) and Peter van Petegem (1997, 1998 and 2002). Bruyère has the fastest speed (43.35 kmh) for 1975.

Other winners include Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens and Johan Museeuw. Dutchman Jan Raas won in 1981 after finishing second in 1977, third in 1978, second in 1979 and fourth in 1980.

The route

Het Volk started and finished in Ghent between 1945 and 1995. In 1996 to 2007 the conclusion of the race was at Lokeren, 20 km north east.

In 2008 the race finished in Ghent with 11 climbs and 16 km of cobbles in 199 km The start is outside Ghent's Museum of Contemporary Art, the first 70 km is flat before 40 km including five short, sharp climbs and one cobbled sector. Another flat part is followed by 55 km which includes the cobbled sectors of Donderij and Hof ter Fiennestraat and the climbs of the Oud Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg and the Wolvenberg. The Molenberg is the final climb 39 km from the finish and this short climb which averages almost 10% in gradient can be the launching point for a winning break. The race finishes in the centre of Ghent on the thoroughfare of Charles de Kerchovelaan in front of the Citadelpark.[3][4]

References and footnotes

  • European Cycling - The 20 Greatest Races by Noel Henderson (1989) ISBN 0-941950-20-4.


  1. ^
  2. ^ The rules allowed assistance only from team-mates.
  3. ^ Gives details of new route.
  4. ^ Gives details of new route.

External links

  • [1] Official Site in Dutch.


Rider Team
1945 Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL)
1946 Belgium Pieters, AndreAndré Pieters (BEL)
1947 Belgium Sercu, AlbertAlbert Sercu (BEL)
1948 Belgium Grysolle, SylvainSylvain Grysolle (BEL)
1949 Belgium , André DeclerckAndré Declerck  (BEL)
1950 Belgium Declerck, AndreAndré Declerck (BEL)
1951 Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL)
1952 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)
1953 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)
1954 Belgium De Baere, KarelKarel De Baere (BEL)
1955 Belgium Anthonis, LodeLode Anthonis (BEL)
1956 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)
1957 Belgium Kerckhove, NorbertNorbert Kerckhove (BEL)
1958 Belgium Planckaert, JosephJoseph Planckaert (BEL)
1959 Republic of Ireland Elliott, SeamusSeamus Elliott (IRL)
1960 No race
1961 Belgium De Cabooter, ArthurArthur De Cabooter (BEL)
1962 Belgium De Middeleir, RobertRobert De Middeleir (BEL)
1963 Belgium Van Meenen, RenéRené Van Meenen (BEL)
1964 Belgium Melckenbeek, FransFrans Melckenbeek (BEL)
1965 Belgium De Pauw, NoelNoél De Pauw (BEL)
1966 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED)
1967 Belgium Vekemans, WillyWilly Vekemans (BEL)
1968 Belgium Vanspringel, HermanHerman Vanspringel (BEL)
1969 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1970 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL)
1971 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)
1972 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL)
1973 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)
1974 Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)
1975 Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)
1976 Belgium Peeters, WillemWillem Peeters (BEL)
1977 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL)
1978 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL)
1979 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1980 Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)
1981 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED)
1982 Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL)
1983 Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL)
1984 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL)
1985 Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL)
1986 No race due to snow
1987 Netherlands Vliet, Teun vanTeun van Vliet (NED)
1988 Belgium Van Holen, RonnyRonny Van Holen (BEL)
1989 Belgium De Wilde, EtienneEtienne De Wilde (BEL)
1990 Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM
1991 Germany Kappes, AndreasAndreas Kappes (GER) Toshiba-Look
1992 Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM-Sanyo
1993 Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1994 Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1995 Italy Ballerini, FrancoFranco Ballerini (ITA) Mapei-GB-Latexco
1996 Belgium Steels, TomTom Steels (BEL) Mapei-GB
1997 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
1998 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
1999 Belgium Vandenbroucke, FrankFrank Vandenbroucke (BEL) Cofidis
2000 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Mapei-Quick Step
2001 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Mapei-Quick Step
2002 Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) Lotto-Adecco
2003 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Quick Step-Davitamon
2004 No race due to snow
2005 Belgium Nuyens, NickNick Nuyens (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic
2006 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2007 Italy Pozzato, FilippoFilippo Pozzato (ITA) Liquigas
2008 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2009 Norway Hushovd, ThorThor Hushovd (NOR) Cervélo TestTeam

Winners womens race

Rider Team
2009 Netherlands Goede, Suzanne deSuzanne de Goede (NED) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
2008 Netherlands Wild, KirstenKirsten Wild (NED) AA-Drink Cycling Team
2007 Denmark Lacota, MieMie Lacota (DEN) Team Flexpoint
2006 Netherlands Goede, Suzanne deSuzanne de Goede (NED) AA Cycling Team


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