Friday File: Calm before the storm

Calm before the storm

King Johan Museeuw, '00 & '03 champ in the 1993 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

The 73rd edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is Saturday and starts off the anticipated Belgian Weekend. Little brother Kuurne Brussels Kuurne follows Sunday. The start of the real season.

The OHN was called a semi-classic. Not anymore. World Tour status means that much more prominence for very good reason as this race is often describe as a mini Tour of Flanders. This year's race will take in the iconic Muur in Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg to finish in Ninove. The Muur was axed from Flanders back in 2012 and still mourned to this day. The 19.8% leg burner up to the Muur will be most welcome inclusion to the fans and the test for the riders. 

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne may not have the same pedigree as OHN but it's the same distance less cobbles and with 50km to go is flat for the sprinters. Last year's winner Peter Sagan will not be there to savour the beer but it will be full on from the start. 

I can't wait for the Belgian weekend to start!

My two picks for OHN:

Belgium champion: Oliver Naesen 

2012 champ: Sep Vanmarcke relaxing this morning.

New Sector for Paris-Roubaix: