Vanmarcke's Aggression Thwarted By Headwind And Tactics At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) waves to his infant daughter from the podium at Omloop Het

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a race that has been dominated by Belgians – with 56 wins in 71 editions – but the riders from the heartland of the Classics were all left frustrated on Saturday at two common enemies: a stiff headwind and a decided lack of cooperation. Sep Vanmarcke ( EF Education First-Drapac ) was the one who did most to try and break down those barriers but in the end he was hamstrung in a finale where tactics counted for more than physical strength. The 29-year-old was part of a strong group that formed after the Berendries climb, but the easterly wind meant the bunch would arrive as one at the foot of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, the focal point of a new race route that revived the old Tour of Flanders course. Vanmarkce was the chief aggressor on the Muur, going clear over the top, but the ...

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