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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021: Routes, teams and all you need to know

Joe Robinson
26 Feb 2021

Key information about the 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad men's and women's races, which take place on Saturday 27th February 2021

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the first Cobbled Classic of the year and for many marks the true start of the cycling season. 

Even more so this year, as with the continuing worldwide coronavirus pandemic, many of the usual early season races have been postponed until later in the year or cancelled entirely.

Previously called Omloop Het Volk, the heritage of this one-day race gives it the kind of prestige usually reserved for the bigger Monument races and is a day targeted by the very best in the peloton.

Some of the biggest names in the sport have taken victory at the race down the years, including Eddy Merckx, Johan Museeuw and Roger De Vlaeminck. However, the Omloop was one of very few cobbled races that Belgian Tom Boonen was unable to take victory in before his retirement.

Last year's edition was one of the last races not to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The men's race was won by Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven ahead of Yves Lampaert, of Deceuninck-QuickStep, and Soren Kragh Andersen, riding for Team Sunweb.

Omloop also runs a women's race on the same day and, while not part of the Women's WorldTour, it is regarded as one of the more prestigious one-day events in the women's calendar and often attracts the world's best riders.

Last year, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) took the honours ahead of Marta Bastianelli (Ale BTC Ljubljana) and Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb).

Emma Johansson and Suzanne De Goede both share the honour of being the race's most successful winners with two wins apiece. Britain's Lizzie Deignan is also a previous winner (2016), having also finished on the podium twice before too.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021: Key information

Date: Saturday 27th February 2021  
Start: Gent  
Finish: Ninove  
Distance: Men's – 201km, women's – 124km  
Climbs: Men's – 13, women's – 8  
UK television coverage: Men's – 1300-1525, women's – 1535-1640

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021 men's route

The route for the 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has now been revealed by race organiser Flanders Classics.

If we take the 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad route as a guide, however, we will see it mirrors the historic finish of the Tour of Flanders until 2011.

The 2021 men's race is 201km long, tackling 13 'helligen' (climbs), of which some are cobbled, as well as nine sections of cobbled roads. 

The final run to the line harks back to previous Tour of Flanders races with the two final ascents of the race taking place on the cobbled Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg before a flat and fast 13km into Ninove.

The Muur, as it is often known, is only 475m long yet averages 9.3% in gradient, topping out at 19.8%. The Bosberg is a little longer at 980m with an average gradient of 5.8% and a maximum gradient of 11%.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021 women's route

Like the men's event, the route for the 2021 women's race was revealed the day before with a message from the organiser that fans should watch from home.

The 2021 women's event is 124km long, and like the men's race it starts in Gent and finished in Ninove. The peloton will tackle eight climbs and five cobbled sections throughout the course of the day.

The women's race finishes with an ascent of the Muur and Bosberg before 12km flat out sprint to the line.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021: The teams

WorldTour teams

AG2R-Citroen (FRA)
Astana Premier Tech (KAZ)
Bahrain-Victorious (BHR)
Intermarche-Wanty Gobert (POL)
Cofidis (FRA)
Bora-Hansgrohe (GER)
Deceuninck-QuickStep (BEL)
EF Education-Nippo (USA)
Groupama-FDJ (FRA)
Lotto-Soudal (BEL)
Movistar (ESP)
Team BikeExchange (AUS)
Qhubeka-Assos (RSA)
Israel Start-Up Nation (ISL)
Jumbo-Visma (NED)
Ineos Grenadiers (GBR)
Team DSM (GER)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

ProTeam wildcard teams

Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (BEL)
Alpecin-Fenix (BEL)
Total-Direct Energie (FRA)
Bingoal-Wallonie-Bruxelles (BEL)
Arkéa-Samsic (FRA)
B&B Hotels KTM (FRA)

Women's teams

Liv Racing (POL)
Movistar (ESP)
Drops (GBR)
Multum Accountants-LSK (BEL)
SD Worx (NED)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
Jumbo-Visma (NED)
Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire (BEL)
Ale BTC Ljubjana (ITA)
Canyon-Sram (GER)
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futroscope (FRA)
Team BikeExchange (AUS)
Team DSM (NED)
Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport (BEL)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (BEL)
Team Arkea (FRA)
Ceratizit-WNT (GER)
Hitec Products (NOR)
NXTG Racing (NED)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED)
Team Rupelcleaning (IRL)
TIBCO-SVB (USA)
Valcar-Travel & Service (ITA)

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad previous male winners

2020: Jasper Stuyven (BEL) Trek-Segafredo
2019: Zdenek Stybar (CZE) Deceuninck-QuickStep
2018: Michael Valgren (DEN) Astana
2017: Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing
2016: Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing
2015: Ian Stannard (GBR) Team Sky
2014: Ian Stannard (GBR) Team Sky
2013: Luca Paolini (ITA) Katusha
2012: Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) Garmin-Barracuda
2011: Sebastian Langeveld (BEL) Rabobank

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad previous female winners

2020: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Mitchelton-Scott
2019: Chantal Blaak (LUX) Boels-Dolmans
2018: Christina Siggaard (DEN) Team Virtu
2017: Lucinda Brand (NED) Team Sunweb
2016: Lizzie Deignan (GBR) Boels-Dolmans
2015: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Rabobank-Liv
2014: Amy Pieters (NED) Giant-Shimano
2013: Tiffany Cromwell (AUS) Orica-AIS
2012: Loes Gunnewijk (NED), Orica-AIS
2011: Emma Johansson (SWE), Hitec Products Uck