Race Preview: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Omloop vH Hageland
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February) and Omloop van Het Hageland (28 February) sees the start of the 2016 racing campaign for Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team. It's the 11th edition of Het Nieuwsblad and the tough race opens the Spring Classics for the European peloton.
Following Saturday's cobbled classic, the team will line up in Omloop van Het Hageland on Sunday for the first time since 2014. Experienced American, Carmen Small, will be the road captain while the experience of Joëlle Numainville and Lotta Lepistö should come into play.
"I am looking forward to racing," Small said. "I’m nervous because you’ve done all this hard training through the winter and what’s the pay off. ‘Are you fit?’ ‘How do you compare to the other girls?’ Because we missed out on Qatar, we don’t really know where we stand fitness wise. We’re starting off with one of the hardest races of the year. Het Nieuwsblad is as hard as Flanders."
Clara Koppenburg will start the Spring Classics for the first time in her young career while Canadian under 23 road champion, Gabrielle Pilote Fortin, makes her debut for the team. Nicole Hanselmann rounds out the team line up.
Race organisers of Omloop van Het Hageland will make live streaming available for the race which will be available here.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February) and Omloop van Het Hageland (28 February)
Gabrielle Pilote Fortin