Zdenek Stybar takes victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Mar 02 2019 11:41 pm CET

Zdenek Stybar takes victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Zdenek Stybar takes victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Zdenek Stybar has taken the victory of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The rider attacked in the last two kilometres and crossed the finish line on his own.

The 74th edition of the race was 200 kilometres long and took the riders through 13 climbs, including the Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg, and seven sectors of cobbles. The race started with dry weather but slowly the rain began to fall.

Three riders escaped at the very start of the race and continued riding on their own for most of the day. Baptiste Planckaert, Tom Wirtgen (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Tom Devirendt (Wanty-Gobert) built a gap of more than eight minutes with the peloton and were caught with 42 kilometres to go.

One kilometre later a large group tried to break away and included some of the favourites of the day like Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott). Lotto Soudal's Tiesj Benoot crashed in a curve with around 30 kilometres to go and despite going back to the saddle, he abandoned later in the course.

Soon after, Van Avermaet sped up the pace in the escape group and made a selection of riders until only five remained with him: Astana's Alexey Lutsenko, Bora-hangrohe's Daniel Oss, Wellens, Teuns and Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Zdenek Stybar. After the climb of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, Oss disconnected from the front group while the gap with the chasers became smaller.

On the climb of the Bosberg, Van Avermaet once more set the rhythm but couldn't shake off any of his companions. With seven kilometres to go, the Olympic champion tried again but the rest of the group reacted and stuck with him.

At two kilometres from the finish Stybar launched a strong attack and despite the efforts, nobody could catch him. The Czech rider crossed the finish line on his own, Van Avermaet was second and Wellens was third.

The best result Stybar had taken in the race was the seventh position in 2015.