Racing is truly back in Europe! Following hot on the heels of Samyn des Dames, Omloop van Het Hageland has everything you associate with racing in Belgium. Short steep climbs, cobbled sections, narrow roads, flat exposed sections, it’s got it all. As can be seen in the highlights video (above) from last year’s event the rain came down during the race to add plenty of Belgian toothpaste to the mix to complete the set of Belgian racing characteristics. The only thing missing is a Belgian winner. There hasn’t been one since Lisbet de Vocht took the title in 2008.
|2007||Louise Moriarty||Yolandi Du Toit||Lieve Koninkx|
|2008||Liesbeth De Vocht||Birgit Soellner||Ilse Geldhof|
|2009||Andrea Bosman||Martine Bras||Mascha Pijnenborg|
|2010||Emma Johansson||Martine Bras||Grace Verbeke|
|2011||Emma Johansson||Adrie Visser||Sjoukje Dufoer|
|2012||Elizabeth Armitstead||Pauline Férrand-Prevot||Elisa Longo Borghini|
Total prize money available at the race is just shy of 2000€.
|Position||Prize Money [€]||UCI Points|
Alongside the prizes for the top 20 finishers and UCI points for the top 8 there are climbing and sprint competitions up for grabs too. The first, second and third riders through the designated climbs and sprint points along the course will earn 5, 3 & 1 points respectively. The riders with the highest accumulated points at the end of the race can collect the Climbers and Sprint Prizes:
|Position||Sprint [€]||Climber [€]|
Starting and finishing in Tielt, a small town around 35km west of Gent. The course is consists of two distinct sections. The first a 55km anti-clockwise loop followed by 5 laps of a 13.4km circuit around the Walenbos Nature Reserve.
The profile of the initial 55km loop rolls gently through the Belgian countryside and small villages and towns. The profile is far from flat but the climbs are rarely stretching.
That is until they arrive in Molenbeek and turn onto Kerkstraat. A 700m long, narrow, cobbled climb to the first categorised “berg” in the climbing competition. Riders getting caught at the back at this point could find their race is virtually over despite not even being at the half-way point of the race.
After reaching the top of Kerkstraat it’s a 4km dash to cross the finish line for the first time to enter the second phase of the race, 5 laps of the 13km local circuit. Each crossing of the finish line marks the sprint point for the sprint competition.
The 13km loop has one significant climb to the village of Roeselberg. At the far end of the circuit from the finish. The road is wide and the gradient relatively even but its steeper than it looks on the Streetview image below.
Repeat the loop 5 times and we’ll have the winner!