Van Baarle took his maiden Jumbo-Visma victory at Omloop het Nieuwsblad by going clear before the Muur van Geraardsbergen and simply not getting caught. He launched the attack with 38km to race, briefly joined by the remnants of the early breakaway and then pushed on alone. The gap at the finish was 20 seconds, as the Dutch rider took the season’s first European WorldTour race. Behind Van Baarle, Arnaud de Lie won the bunch sprint for 2nd place ahead of Van Baarle’s Jumbo Visma teammate Christophe Laporte.
Starting in Gent, the peloton took on 207.3km across Flanders and 12 climbs listed on the route. The early racing took out Ben Turner, who broke his elbow in the crash. After winning at Vuelta a Murcia earlier this month, Turner was an outsider favourite for this year’s Omloop het NIeuwsblad. Jumbo-Visma were very present on the front of the peloton, working to bring back the break. They were keen to ensure their riders were in the prime position going into the tight, steep Molenberg climb. It was here where Stefan Küng decided to up the pace, bringing Dylan van Baarle, Jonathan Milan, Mathis Le Berre and Florian Vermeersch with him.
The likes of Kevin Geniets and Jasper Stuyven tried to bridge across but were shortly reclaimed by the peloton. It was Van Baarle who pushed on though, with only Le Berre able to follow until a mechanical took him out of contention. Most of the peloton was seen walking up the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Van Baarle’s gap increased.
The Bosberg didn’t slow down the leader, with De Lie, Laporte, Wellens and Mohoric unable to make headway in their lead group after leaving the Muur. In truth, Van Baarle looked in control and was able to celebrate before the line.
“I don’t know what to say. Our plan was to make it a hard race and the guys rode incredible. The team told me to use my instinct and that’s what I did. I saw a moment, it was quite a hard section of the race, so I decided to go.”Dylan van Baarle
2023 Omloop het Nieuwsblad result
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