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24 Feb 16 05:02
Date Joined: 05 Apr 05
| Topic/replies: 28,704 | Blogger: marychain1's blog
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Pause Switch to Standard View *Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite* 27th...
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Report CJ70 February 25, 2016 11:24 AM GMT
I'll get in early on this one as I doubt I'll be around to watch the race. Recent seasons I've managed to subscribe to for it, well worth it for anyone who knows they'll have the time to enjoy the race.

As I'm probably not going to be able to take advantage of the live prices I've taken some early bets. The joys of having a working Sportsbook!

The market favourites are Van Avermaet(5), Sagan(5.5) & Boonen(5.5). All riders you would probably back for a podium but lay for the win. If Betfair get a shift on, that's exactly what I'll do. If I've discounted the favourites it's a skip through the odds to look for value.

I need someone from Ettix but I don't want the aging Boonen at such a short price. Terpstra(12) and Vandenbergh(20) far too short with the latter may not even be riding. Tony Martin at 40's? It would be a brave punt and he could either smash it or more than likely use himself up for another. So I settled on Maes(100) or van Kiersbulck, I plumped for the latter at 66.

No s****ing at the back for this one. I've gone for Arnaud Demare(25)!! But he's hopeless you shout! Yes, he's had an absolutely rotten couple of years but even within that he has a top 10 here in the last two years and a top 5 at KBK in 2012 to show that he's generally decent at this time of the year. He has one win this season in Vendres, so I'm very much hoping he shows his early promise.

Luke Rowe(33) will be leading SKY in the place of Ian Stannard who doesn't race. Finishing an impressive 9th and 11th the two previous years acting as a foil for Stannard so should be present in the final stages. Stannard would have been priced around the same as Boonen and Sagan and at 33's he's just too big to ignore.

Demare 25/1 e/w
Rowe 33/1 e/w
Van Kiersbulck 66/1 e/w

Apologies for getting my picks in before the preview. Good luck all.
Report marychain1 February 26, 2016 8:18 AM GMT
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (1.HC) Gent  ›  Gent  (200k)

What a race to start the cycling season proper! The sight of one of my all-time favourite sportsmen Ian Stannard routing 3 Etixx riders last year was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Stannard isn’t back to defend his title but this should be a cracking race nonetheless.

Despite the Aussie races and the string of Middle East stage races this is the weekend that the cycling season really starts with Omloop on the Saturday and KBK on the Sunday. Clearly the makeup of the peloton this week will be significantly different from those that were getting heatstroke in Oman, but the ones that have made the trip back to Europe will be getting a bit of a shock. Although the weather is predicted to be ok, the relative cold and wind will be very different, as will the cobbles and climbs of North West Belgium. Although Omloop and K-B-K are often seen as hors d'oeuvres to the cobbled classic season, they are excellent spectacles in their own right and ones that have well rewarded British fans in recent years. Mark Cavendish won the more sprinter friendly K-B-K in 2012 and 2015 and Ian Stannard won the last two editions of Omloop, which favours your more traditional Classics specialist.
Omloop Previous Winners
2015 | STANNARD Ian
2014 | STANNARD Ian
2013 | PAOLINI Luca
2012 | VANMARCKE Sep
2011 | LANGEVELD Sebastian
2010 | FLECHA Juan Antonio
2009 | HUSHOVD Thor
2008 | GILBERT Philippe
2007 | POZZATO Filippo
2006 | GILBERT Philippe

2015 Omloop
1.STANNARD Ian4:58:41
2.TERPSTRA Niki ,,
3.BOONEN Tom 0:08
4.VANDENBERGH Stijn 0:15
5.VANMARCKE Sep 1:24
7.STYBAR Zdenek 1:29
8.GILBERT Philippe 4:35
9.ROWE Luke 4:55
10.DéMARE Arnaud ,,


The Omloop route takes the riders from Gent towards Brussels and back again, taking in several of the famous bergen. There are 13 in total, which is two more than normal. Most of the climbs are concentrated in the middle section of the race, and there are still roughly 40km to go when they crest the final berg but the winner will have to negotiate several cobbled sections and whatever the weather has to throw at them.

Although this is considered by some as a warm up, and 2-time champ Stannard isn’t here, there is a serious listartlist. Sagan, Boonen, Terpstra, Martin, Benoot, Roelandts, Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Oss, Demare, Offredo, Kristoff, Rowe are here and that’s a cracking line up.

The 5 the market prefers are the serious Classics hitters of Van Avermaet (best price 7/1), World Champ Sagan (8/1), Kristoff (10/1), Boonen (10/1) and Terpstra (10/1). Of those 5, my money would be on Terpstra but this early in the season I'll take my chances on ones at a bigger price. I think Tiesj Benoot is one hell of a rider but at 14/1 he's not much bigger than riders with a vastly superior palmares so the layers are well aware of his enormous potential. Luke Rowe is another rider of enormous potential who may be allowed his head here and at 30/1 he is a much more attractive proposition to me. Jurgen Roelandts of Lotto is another that could step out of the shadow of the normal team leaders here and I think 50/1 is a cracking price. He's got a 3rd and an 8th at the Tour of Flanders in the last 3 years so likes this sort of race. The negative with Lotto is they have so many options. Benoot, Roelandts, Wallays, and I was also tempted to stab at another Lotto rider with a big engine and a big future in Stig Broeckx at 150/1 but will just go with Roelandts. It's a similar problem backing riders from Etixx and BMC. Etixx have got a least four potential leaders, although as we saw last year when Stannard left three Etixx men for dead in the finale sometimes having too many leaders can cause more problems than it solves. Of the 4 (Boonen, Terpstra, Martin & Vandenbergh) I was tempted by Vandenbergh at the prices but to me he's a very strong but tactically inept rider. They must be desperate to make up for 2015's race but at the prices and the inclusion of Tony Martin in their classics squad is really interesting. I'm going to chance him at 25/1. With BMC Van Avermaet and Gilbert are the obvious stars but with their focus this spring on other races I'm going to take a chance on Daniel Oss at 66/1. Good luck all.
Report marychain1 February 26, 2016 8:22 AM GMT
CJ70 - I also contemplated Demare. You're right to say his form hasn't been brilliant over the last couple of years but I think he is developing into a classics rider rather than an out-and-out fast man. I'm really interested to see how FDJ play this race as they've had a pretty good start to the season. Le Bon could also be a card for them.
Report ClayDavis February 26, 2016 1:45 PM GMT
I still can't get my around how quickstep made such a balls up of this last year.

But it was all for Boonen and it will be same again IMHO. They know Boonen can't win the big classics anymore. This is the one cobbled classic he hasn't won. They will sacrifice everything for him to win. Like last year.

No mention of the big fella Stijin Vandenburgh? Been in great form. But will get sacrificed no doubt.

I like Gilbert. In good form, and is always a tough cookie in these types of races. He has won this twice before. He's the type of rider to follow when he hits his stride as he is aggressive and tends to be there or there abouts.

I don't think he will ride for GVA. they don't like each other.

I think Kristoff will do what he did last year, half attempt on Saturday before a full blown attempt in KBK on Sunday where Cav pipped him last year.

Gilbert main bet for me, with a few quid on Vandenburgh just in case they don't throw him to the wolves in support of Boonen
Report SwingingPick February 26, 2016 6:16 PM GMT
Flemish weekend to excite cycling fans for the season ahead. Brilliant!

Looking at this type of early race, EQS like to pull out the knuckledusters and assert their dominance on the peloton, so certainly Terpstra, Boonen, Vandenburgh and Panzerwagon are all genuine contenders.

MC mentioned Vandenburgh Clay, said he was tempted, just not interested for obvious reasons.

Tornado Tom is a still a big promotional drawcard for EQS and every time he wins the team wins big, so he should get a prominent position, but does he still have it in the finale? I mean, Stannard demolished an EQS tag-team effort last year -- heroic stuff -- and Boonen only got third. I think he is just too short. Terpstra nearly always shows his petulance in a Flemish race, although I would put him ahead of Boonen. Vandenburgh might get sacrificed but that also means he will be in it for a long way, and given his dour quality he likes a hard race, and as Stannard showed, the rider of that type can still have good winning strength by the end, so Vandenburgh should not be discounted easily.

I'm going with Clay though, I really like Gilbert. I think he not only has the cunning and experience to monitor what should be an obvious dominant situation with EQS, but he has come out in a forward condition for this early part of the season, and whilst he is losing strength as he ages he has looked good in such races in the early part of the season before, although will require luck in running as he hasn't converted his moves into wins.

And I'm also including MC's Roelandts. Knows these roads like the back of his hand. Can get a good position and is strong. Only negative, but it's a big one, is that he is in a talented team of young riders, so may get sacrificed for boosting the confidence of LTS future riders, even in terms of being held back.

Weather fine.

* Gilbert                 14/1
1/8* Vandenburgh 33/1
1/8* Roelandts       50/1

Good luck to all,
Report ClayDavis February 27, 2016 1:19 PM GMT
Any decent links?
Report marychain1 February 27, 2016 2:54 PM GMT
Dan Lloyd tweeted a link to the YouTube channel but if you've got Sky it's live on the new cycling channel Bike on channel 464. It's on Virgin too but I don't know the number.
Report marychain1 February 27, 2016 3:32 PM GMT
Looks like it's going to be from these 4 (of 5 if you add Gougeard) of Rowe, Sagan, GVA and Benoot. Sagan's definitely fastest of these - you'd have to think any of the others will have to win solo.
Report marychain1 February 27, 2016 3:36 PM GMT
As I write that the peloton immediately brings back half a minute of the advantage
Report marychain1 February 27, 2016 3:38 PM GMT
Peloton in shot, this is going to be touch and go.
Report marychain1 February 27, 2016 3:42 PM GMT
GVA! Cracking win for him. Podium is Sagan, Benoot. Rowe didn't have the legs for the sprint and only takes 4th. Great rider by Gougeard to stay with that group.
Report SwingingPick February 27, 2016 4:28 PM GMT
Very strong win by GVA to hold out the WC there. Pressed it on the inside and then got a nice and quick gap to win comfortably. Could this be his year to be a prolific winner?

It wasn't discussed much, but I thought that the wind was a factor, nevertheless EQS were disorganised and the Panzerwagon going down over the cobbles didn't help at an important stage of the race, which affected Terpstra, also. Gilbert required luck and was very attentive early on by riding within the first dozen riders, but was out of position by the Taaienberg, where the selection was made, and where EQS were expected to lay down the law. There will be some reprimanding in the bus after that lacklustre performance by them. Rowe and Benoot just didn't have the big engine by the finale. Peloton came late but never really threatened.

Great to finally watch some racing, snippets of data to take away from the opening weekend of Flemish racing.
Report bigH February 24, 2018 9:39 AM GMT
really looking forward to the new season

Will be absolutely brutal today - strong easterly wind will make it feel like minus 6 degrees or lower

will be having a small e/w interest in Terpstra and Stybar
Report SwingingPick February 25, 2018 6:40 AM GMT
Wish I had more time to really get into the early swing of things, the season-opener is always a festive and interesting weekend of racing. Nice result for Vanmarcke, reports had him training really well coming into this and indeed the cobbles season, and there's plenty of improvement for him on the back of that race. I wonder if it might be his year over the cobbles this year? Early days...
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