Watch: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2018 highlights

Video highlights from the 2018 edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the opening race of the cobbled classics in Belgium

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2018
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Guidance: Video contains one incidence of bad language

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, February 24, signals the start of the cobbled classics season in northern Europe.

The Belgian single-day race always generates a lot of attention among both fans and riders, offering a series of climbs and cobbled road sectors which shape the action.

The route features 13 'hellingen' (climbs), three of which are on cobbles - and the intensity gradually increases.

The final two 'walls', 26km from the finish, are the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen (475 metres, 9.3 per cent, max 19.8 per cent) and the partly-cobbled Bosberg (980m, 5.8 per cent, max 11 per cent).

Following the Bosberg, there will be a final 12km to go before the line.

>>> Cobbled Classics: Latest news, reports and race info

Previous winners include some of the biggest names in Classics racing, including Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert, Ian Stannard, Sep Vanmarcke, Peter Van Petegem, Johan Museuuw, Eddy Merckx, Freddy Maertens and Roger De Vlaeminck.

This year's edition will feature Vanmarcke, Van Avermaet, Gilbert and a host of fresh classics talent who are hunting for a big win.

The race is followed by Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, which follows a less hilly route and is traditionally one that suits sprinters more.

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Nigel Wynn
Nigel Wynn

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.