Favorites Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2024

Saturday, February 24, 2024, marks the return of cycling action! While winter offered thrilling cyclocross events, professional cyclists have been warming up in sunny destinations for several weeks. However, as the riders present themselves to the public in ’t Kuipke in Ghent, every cycling enthusiast in Flanders and the Netherlands knows: the race is back home. The spring classics finally kick off. Following our extensive preview of, this special delves deeper into the favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024. We venture into predictions based on previous editions and the performances of cyclists in the early spring. Of course, we conclude with our well-known star ratings and an overview of dark horses!

Contenders Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2024

Favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 – the first classic on Flemish soil

As every year, predicting the outcome of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is both enjoyable and challenging. Being the first classic on the calendar, Omloop heralds the arrival of spring with the pounding cobbles of the specialists. Racing away from the harsh winter, towards spring! Races like Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969, Ster van Bessèges, Clásica de Almería, or the Tour of Algarve are all broadcast on television in 2024 – adding to the excitement.

What makes it challenging? Nowadays, many riders show up in Gent without a single kilometer of competition, only to make a significant impact later. Case in point: Jumbo-Visma last year. And rest assured, the Killer Bees will be ready to buzz this year as well.

Roger de Vlaeminck congratulates Van der Poel on his absence

“Are these still cyclists?” wondered cycling icon Roger De Vlaeminck in De Koers Is Van Ons, the podcast of Het Nieuwsblad, when he learned last year, just before Omloop, about the absence of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert in the season opener. “This is one of the most beautiful races to win. I congratulate them on their absence. I find it terrible that they are not participating.” De Vlaeminck, as usual, compared it to his time, where he (of course) rode many more races. “I did the Omloop every year, plus Tirreno-Adriatico, plus Milan-San Remo, plus Paris-Roubaix, plus the E3, plus the Tour of Flanders, plus Liège-Bastogne-Liège, plus the Brabantse Pijl, plus the Walloon Arrow, plus the Amstel Gold Race.”

The first pancakes are for the children, but they taste good

La première crêpe sont pour les enfants. A familiar (cycling) saying in early spring. The first pancakes may be for the children, but they taste good. And a prize is a prize, especially in the Flemish classics where competition is fierce, and opportunities are not endless. A glance at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad’s honor roll reveals that the first pancakes have become more coveted than ever in recent years. And, honestly, with the Omloop victory, you go into the Flemish Cycling Week with an even more delightful feeling! De Vlaeminck’s criticism last year was directed at both Van Aert and Van der Poel, but Van Aert will indeed be present at the Omloop this year. And with him, many more top contenders…

Contenders Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2024 - Van Aert Laporte

Favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 according to Voorjaarsklassiekers.be

The spring of 2024 will be a success if Wout van Aert wins the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix. Victory in (one of) these cobblestone monuments is the absolute goal for the Belgian all-rounder of Visma-Lease a Bike. With changes in a high-altitude training camp – hence skipping Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo – the peak form is expected during the Holy Double. However, Van Aert remains Van Aert, and even without much competition, he is the man to beat for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024. Can Van Aert, like in 2022, claim the official opener of the cobbled classics?

If, for some reason, Van Aert falls short, or if a different Visma | Lease A Bike rider is better positioned due to a turn in the race, they have another finisher in Christophe Laporte. The Frenchman secured a third-place finish last year and has since become a true classics specialist.

In addition to Van Aert and Laporte, the Killer Bees also have Dylan van Baarle, the defending champion, on board, along with lieutenants Tiesj Benoot, Jan Tratnik, and Matteo Jorgensen – all riders who could be leaders in any other team. What wealth. Multiple favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 for the team led by Merijn Zeeman.

Favorites Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2024

However, the black and yellow team will have to contend with Arnaud de Lie. He emerged unexpectedly last year in the Omloop and impressively secured second place behind winner Dylan van Baarle. The rising star delivered a powerful performance, especially the images of De Lie powering up the Muur van Geraardsbergen in a big gear went viral. His ability was further demonstrated when he outpaced several top contenders in the GP Québec.

In 2024, the motto of Lotto-Dstny is: all in on De Lie, and the Bull himself ambitiously stated that he wants to win a (semi)classic this year. The additional training camp in Calpe in mid-February, to work on speed and explosiveness in the sun, was entirely focused on the Omloop. Write De Lie down!

Behind Van Aert and De Lie, a third top favorite starts with Jasper Philipsen, who thrives in both demanding races and sprints. The Omloop and Philipsen have not formed a good partnership yet, partly because De Vlam van Ham was a true sprinter in previous participations. In 2024, we can genuinely consider Philipsen as a dangerous cobble specialist, as evidenced by his performances last year in races like Paris-Roubaix (second) and Three Days of Bruges-De Panne, as well as in Dwars door Vlaanderen. What can Philipsen achieve in the Opening Weekend?

Jonathan Milan is the play card for Lidl-Trek in the absence of Mads Pedersen. The team, which received a significant boost with the sponsorship of the German supermarket chain, is already in good form this year. The Dane showcased his skills in both Bessèges and Provence, but the former world champion will skip Ninove. With Jasper Stuyven as the second lieutenant and home rider Edward Theuns as road captain, Milan, the 23-year-old powerhouse from Tolmezzo, Italy, should be able to make a mark. Milan already caught attention in the Omloop last year and broke through to the wider audience after his sprint victories and purple jersey (points classification) in the Giro d’Italia.

This year, Milan has already secured victories in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. If things go well, he could contend for a podium spot. Will Milan surprise us with a bid for victory?

Preview Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2024

Favorites Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 according to Voorjaarsklassiekers.be – the outsiders

Behind the stars of Visma | Lease A Bike, with Van Aert as the clear leader, De Lie, Philipsen, and Milan, there are other prominent riders who could win on Saturday.

Soudal – Quick Step did not have the best cobbled spring in recent years, but Patrick Lefevere’s team will hope for the revival of Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen in 2024. The Dane, a former winner of the Tour of Flanders, demonstrated his capabilities last summer in the Tour de France. What can the Wolfpacks achieve in the Omloop?

Like Asgreen and Alaphilippe, Thomas Pidcock, Stefan Küng, Matej Mohorič, and Tim Wellens will benefit from an early break in the race and breaking away from an attack.

The British rider from INEOS started well in the Algarve, but we expect him to peak more in the Ardennes classics. Küng has also set his sights on Paris-Roubaix this year, but don’t give the powerhouse an inch – or the bird has flown.

The same goes for Mohorič. He was on point last year in both the Omloop and Kuurne, and this year he already won in Valencia. As for Tim Wellens, we know two things: the colder and more challenging the weather, the better he performs. Additionally, the Belgian from UAE Emirates is always on form early in the season.

Finally, we hope that Biniam Girmay can surprise us. In our extensive preview of the favorites for the spring classics 2024, we extensively discussed the Eritrean talent, and in the Omloop, he will ride his first cobblestone classic of the year.

Favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 according to Voorjaarsklassiekers.be – the dark horses

Now, a few dark horses. First, let’s mention Axel Zingle. He had a strong Tour de la Provence. Even though, according to the professional observers, the competition was tough, there were no weak opponents. Can Zingle maintain his form?

The duo of Iván García Cortina and Oier Lazkano are the trump cards for Movistar, while Florian Sénéchal at his new team Arkéa – B&B Hotels wants to shine from the beginning. Dylan Teuns is also a solid option that you can consider in your prediction game, and if you participate in a spring classics game where you can only select each rider once and want to keep the firepower for later, Rasmus Tiller from Uno-X could be a good card.

The last dark horse is Armaury Capiot (pictured below), son of Johan Capiot – Omloop Het Volk winner in 1990 and 1992. The Belgian from Arkéa – B&B Hotels already surprised in the Tour of Oman and is one of the underdogs for the Omloop.

In any case, don’t expect to see the Ecuadorian cobblestone specialist Jhonatan Narváez. The 26-year-old rider from INEOS Grenadiers delivered a strong performance in the Tour Down Under but will not participate in the Opening Weekend. However, he has a very good reason: Narváez is flying back to Ecuador to be with his heavily pregnant girlfriend. Unfortunately for us, Narváez has been a standout performer in Flemish races in recent years, frequently launching attacks. He gained wider recognition when he spent half a day in the lead with Mathieu van der Poel in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2021.

Also, Florian Vermeersch, who is currently riding, and Victor Campenaerts, due to a prolonged injury, will not participate.

Favorites for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 according to Voorjaarsklassiekers.be – the stars

***** Wout van Aert
**** Arnaud de Lie
*** Christophe Laporte
** Jasper Philipsen
* Dylan van Baarle
Outsiders en dark horses: Jonathan Milan, Tom Pidcock, Mateh Mohorič, Tim Wellens, Axel Zingle, Armaury Capiot, Oier Lazkano

For more spring classics, check out the preview of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024 and favorites Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2024, as well as the one for the following day, the rematch in Kuurne: preview Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2024 and favorites Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2024. Also, read the Golden Tips Scorito Classics Game 2024 if you are playing it and, of course, our comprehensive overview of favorites for the spring classics 2024!