Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - the door to the Spring Classics
After winning Ladies Tour of Qatar, Trixi Worrack and her team mates look to the first Belgian race on the calendar, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday 27 February. The 123.8 kilometre race is as far removed from the heat, cross winds and copious echelons found on the flat roads of Qatar as one could imagine.
Traditionally known as the opener for the Spring Classic races, Worrack describes Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as the ideal warm up for a race like Ronde van Vlaanderen (Flanders). “There are some parts that are the same so it’s great preparation. The cobbles, narrow roads, constant left, right, up, down, the climbs are steep and ugly. A good reminder of how bad the pain is. It’s really not much easier than Flanders. Every team is here. The profile is similar. And Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is made harder because it’s early in the season. If you’ve not done many races until this time it will hurt much more.”
Team mate and 2013 winner Tiffany Cromwell agreed. “It’s a mini Flanders, the same character, you need to focus the whole time and it’ll be a big field with something like 22 teams. I think we can take confidence from Qatar, we’re all in good form and I’m looking forward to Saturday. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is always a nice race, I would love to win again. It’s good to see where everyone’s at, who is up for the Classics and who is still lagging behind in their winter training.”
The team today hosted a partner and media day and Directeur Sportif Ronny Lauke said it was an opportunity for several partners and media to come together again since December. “With the team only being announced just over three months ago it’s exciting to see how things have progressed over winter. The media interest and hype is incredible and the team start in Qatar could not have been better. We are showing that we want to take the lead in women’s cycling and can have some confidence going into the start of our Spring races.”