ProCyclingUK 2024 Logo Alternate

GP Oetingen 2024 Race Preview


GP Oetingen History

The GP Oetingen is a relatively new one-day race, with only 3 previous editions. It suffered last year from having to re-arrange its race due to snow on the morning of the race. Team cars were covered in a good amount of the white stuff and the race was decided to be unsafe in those conditions. It ended up with a new date of mid-August and naturally a very different set of conditions! Won by Simone Boilard, the Canadian went clear in a small group on the cobbles at Lieferinge. Despite getting the gap down to 15″ with 15km to go, the peloton took their foot off the gas and left themselves too much to do. The two previous editions had come down to a sprint.

The GP Oetingen is an adapted version of the old Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik race, which covered some of the same roads in the area around the finish of Omloop het Nieuwsblad and was won by the legend Marianne Vos 3 times. There is the odd climb involved, with the Bergstraat the key one on each short lap. 450m at 8%, it’s not the hardest climb but is just enough to separate out the bunch. The finish line is not far away from its summit and it has the potential to be a launch point. The cobbled sections aren’t the worst of the spring but do give a chance to stretch out the peloton.

Previous Winners

Simone Boilard
Lorena Wiebes
Elisa Balsamo

GP Oetingen 2024 Profile

TV Coverage

Tuesday 6th March 2024

Live on Proximus

All times in GMT

Twitter: #GPOetingen

Startlist: FirstCycling

GP Oetingen 2024 Contenders

The overwhelming favourite here will be Lorena Wiebes. By far the fastest sprinter on the startlist here, Wiebes is a previous winner at GP Oetingen too in 2022. She is already a 2-time winner this season and will look to add another one here. Most of the team looks set to be on lead-out duties but Mischa Bredewold might be on break-killing duty and looked good at Strade Bianche until her fall. There’s a chance that crash sees her come off the start list here, at which point Christine Majerus will probably look good in that role. She was 9th at Omloop van het Hageland from the late break.

Pretty much the only other major name sprinter on the start list at the moment is Chiara Consonni. The Italian was 2nd here in 2022 behind Wiebes and there’s a solid chance that happens again this year. If anything happens to Consonni along the way then Eleonora Gasparrini should be able to capably step up to the lead role. She’s a race winner already in 2024 with victory in the sprint at Trofeo Binissalem-Andratx.

Maria Giulia Confalonieri is the only rider to finish in the top 10 across all 3 editions of GP Oetingen. She has finished 3rd, 4th and 6th over that time and was 10th at Le Samyn des Dames last week. She’s going to be in with another top-5 shot again this year. Teammate Amalie Dideriksen can’t be ruled out either in a sprint but should be leading out Confalonieri here. Anniina Ahtosalo has also appeared on the startlist now and also represents a good option after 2nd at Le Samyn des Dames.

Fenix-Deceuninck’s Julie de Wilde is another rider with a 100% top-10 record at GP Oetingen but only over 2 years. She finished 7th and 9th and should be a decent sprinter in this field at the finish. She’s yet to get a decent result in 2024 but that’s just a matter of time. Teammate Evy Kuijpers was in the break here last year and although she couldn’t keep up with Simone Boilard, she was able to hold off the peloton still to finish in 2nd place. Her best result so far in 2024 is 30th but Kuijpers always has her strong teammate qualities hidden by the results sheet.

Mavi Garcia
Mavi Garcia

Ceratizit WNT brings a few different options here. Arianna Fidanza feels like the best shout as she’s in good form so far in 2024. She’s taken 3 top-10 results in Spain over the last month with a best of 4th place at Clasica de Almeria. It feels like she’ll be the lead after securing 5th place in the 2022 edition of GP Oetingen as well. Sister Martina Fidanza took a WWT level 5th place on a UAE Tour sprint stage and Kathrin Schweinberger was 4th at Trofeo Felanitx-Colònia de Sant Jordi. Between the trio, there should be a decent result.

A rider in a lot of great form at the moment is Lotto Dstny Ladies’ Thalita de Jong. She looks back to her best again after racing 6 times in 2024 and never finishing lower than 15th. That’s been on quite a bit of mixed terrain including a major climb at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. She’s looking like a strong contender for the spring classics this year and could get on the podium here if it splits up.

Roxane Fournier is looking good again after missing the second half of the 2023 season due to surgery. 13th at Le Samyn des Dames was solid but she hoped for more that day. The course at GP Oetingen should suit provided the race stays together. If she can negotiate the climbing successfully then she should be in the top-10.

Team dsm firmenich-PostNL doesn’t have Charlotte Kool on the start list so it’s tough to pick a solid leader. Nienke Vinke impressed in Australia with 2nd overall on the Tour Down Under and some reasonable sprints. Franziska Koch would maybe step into the sprint role against this field as she is often a key cog in the lead-out for the team, she’s also someone with a big enough engine to go on the attack. It’s similar for Daniek Hengeveld who certainly can go clear and stay clear for a long time.

It’s kinda a similar story for Visma-Lease a Bike who will be missing their big stars but still come with 2024 winners. Nienke Veenhoven might get the chance to sprint and was solid enough to win the Down Under Criterium. A flat wide circuit is a different kettle of fish to the tight Belgian roads however so that fast finish doesn’t always translate. Rosita Reijnhout took that famous win at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this year, attacking after cresting the tough climbs there and staying clear to the line. That bodes well for a long-shot chance to break clear here like Simone Boilard did last year. Finally, Maud Oudeman also had some decent sprints in Australia too on the rolling roads stages. Without the presence of a star rider, all of these riders will get a chance to shine.

Maaike Boogaard
Maaike Boogaard

Maaike Boogaard has had a quiet start to the year so far but did well here last season. She was 3rd, managing to just about hang on from the break ahead of the peloton. She’s got a strong engine and will be one to watch trying to break away again. I quite like Anya Louw as a bit of a longer shot here, the Aussie is a strong rider and we’ve seen her able to tackle the short punchy climbs well this year but hasn’t had a chance to lead the team. She might get that chance here and a result to match.

Lifeplus-Wahoo can pick up a good number of results in the top-20 here. Young sprinter Babette van der Wolf has been just edging up into some good positions early on this season, finishing 20th and 21st at Le Samyn and Omloop van het Hageland. I think she’ll get the nod here but the likes of Kaja Rysz and Kristyna Burlova will also look to impress. Rysz in particular has been quietly picking up some good results this year, with 14th at Le Samyn des Dames and the opening day of the Tour Down Under the best.

Lauren Stephens seems to be refreshed quite a bit now that she’s at Cynisca. The American won Clasica de Almeria this year by outsprinting Yulia Biriukova in a sprint-de-jeux to the line. She won’t be a challenger to the likes of Wiebes in the sprint but we could see her attack and try and win with the break.

Marjolein van ‘t Geloof finished 5th here last year but hasn’t really made an impression so far for Hess Cycling. Some of that is down to bad luck as traditionally she knows how to finish Le Samyn des Dames well but suffered a puncture late on in the final kilometres. If she can stave off the bad luck and everything goes well she can get herself back into the top-10 again.

GP Oetingen 2024 Outsiders

Eline van Rooijen
Eline van Rooijen

These sorts of races are where Eline van Rooijen shined last season. The lower-level Belgian sorts which ended up in a sprint, ideally from a smaller group. This will be a chance for the Coop-Repsol rider to start to pull in those results once more. She’s another who has been quiet so far in 2024 with a best result of 18th in the UAE Tour Women but this is a chance to improve on that.

Danique Braam would normally be up in the contenders section for a race like this as she finishes fast and can be a solid top-10 finisher throughout the Belgian season. So far though, her best result this season has been 34th at Le Samyn des Dames, which suggests there is a little bit of work to do to get some form in the legs. Expect Braam to pull out results again at some point this year and it could be at GP Oetingen.

Marieke Meert impressed here last season, finishing 6th with a relatively small Belgian team. She’s been snapped up by VolkerWessels in the off-season and will look to try and do similarly well again in this year’s GP Oetingen. She will certainly get stronger support from her new team which also includes Scarlett Souren. She’s going to have had a confidence boost from winning the national-level Klein-Sinaai race at the weekend. Still only 20 years old, she’s one to watch for the future too.

Top 3 Prediction