I always want to call this race Het Volk. I guess it’s my mindset. Being more old school than a Victorian teacher. Het Volk was the name of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblaad from 1945-2008, and has remained stuck in many heads (mine in particular) as still being the name of the race. In 2006 the organisers decided to introduce a ladies race to the days proceedings – good news for Wiggle, read below to find out why.
The Omloop Het Nieuwsblaad is the first major race of the season in Belgium, it is scheduled to take place on the last Saturday in February or first Saturday in March. Traditionally, and I know having visited this race on many occasions, there is cold weather and often precipitation from the cloudy grey skies that the cobbled classics have a renowned reputation for.
The ladies race is a shortened version of the men’s event, it doesn’t make it any easier though. 8 short steep climbs, some of which cobbled. Not to mention flat cobbled sectors, that are sure to split the peloton.
This Saturday, 23 February, will see the debut European race for the newly founded 2013 Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team.
The Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling line-up for the race is:
Lauren Kitchen (AUS)
Rochelle Gilmore (AUS)
Amy Roberts (GBR)
Emily Collins (NZ)
Mayuko Hagiwara (JPN)
Joanna Rowsell (GBR)
Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier (GER)
A departure from the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx, just outside the city of Gent at 11:20. Approximately 2½hours later and a certain 125km later, the winner will arrive to a roar from the crowd in Sint-Pietersplein in Gent.
The Wiggle office is simply buzzing with excitement for the European season opener especially after the excitement of the ladies Tour Of Qatar, I haven’t been able to stop talking about the thrill of Belgian racing with my colleagues. A number of us are travelling over to watch the race, so look out for some exclusive to Wiggle photos soon.
To get you in the mood, here are some videos compiled from last year’s event.