The probabilities of open, attacking racing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2023 could possibly be dented considerably by the headwind predicted within the races’ finales.
Since 2018, the routes for the lads’s and ladies’s version of the Classics opener have used the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg as the ultimate climbs earlier than a 13km run-in to Ninove.
Monitoring north west, this run-in seems set to be topic to a headwind, because it was in 2021, with winds of round 20kp/h set to blow from the north and north-north-east.
The course of the wind can have a major affect on the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, the place the ‘new’ course is probably much less demanding than earlier than and locations a fantastic emphasis on the Muur and Bosberg.
A headwind normally stifles attacking intent and makes it extra possible the race stays extra bunched up, with Davide Ballerini successful from a peloton of fifty two years in the past. Against this, any gaps opened by assaults are more durable to shut down in a tailwind, tending in the direction of a extra open race.
Final yr’s Omloop het Nieuwsblad noticed a tailwind finale, with Wout Van Aert urgent house his benefit from the Bosberg within the males’s race, earlier than Annemiek van Vleuten beat Demi Vollering in a two-up dash within the girls’s.
If it does come all the way down to some form of dash, it is price noting that the new closing stretch on Ninove’s vast Elisabethlaan is barely uphill and must be right into a near-direct headwind, that means endurance can be key within the closing sprint.
Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) has been touted as the large favorite within the males’s race, as a rider who packs a punch however is extra of a sprinter at this stage of his profession.
The decisive issue, nevertheless, will at all times be how the race is definitely raced. Simply after Ballerini gained the lads’s race in 2021, Anna van der Breggen soloed house within the girls’s race in the identical headwind.
The outlook for the day as an entire is delicate and calm for a race that has been struck by storms and snow within the not-too-distant previous. Temperatures will hover across the 7 levels Celsius mark, that means arm and leg heaters for the beginning however some naked limbs when the racing heats up within the afternoon.
On Sunday, it is extra of the identical for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, with comparable wind and barely cooler temperatures. That race is at all times extra prone to lead to a bunch dash after the loop round Kuurne, nevertheless it’s nonetheless price stating that it might be a tailwind dash.
In these conditions, riders can afford to hit out from barely additional out.