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Jan Tratnik and Marianne Vos were both declared winners at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race.
Cycling Sport

Jan Tratnik and Marianne Vos were both declared winners at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race.

Jan Tratnik achieved an impressive win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which he considers to be the greatest triumph of his career. The 34-year-old Slovenian made a strategic move in the final 10km, catching his more renowned competitors and teammates off guard.

Marianne Vos, aged 36, emerged as the victorious rider in the sprint finish of the Belgian race, marking her first time standing atop the podium. Despite efforts from local favorite Lotte Kopecky and Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini, Vos secured her 249th career win and could not be beat in the final stretch.

Marianne Vos comes home for victory.

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Visma-Lease A Bike took first and third place in the men’s race, with Wout van Aert winning in a sprint behind Tratnik and second-place Nils Politt. However, this may not have been the predicted outcome for the Dutch super-team prior to the race.

Despite having 20 kilometers left, it seemed that Van Aert or Matteo Jorgenson were the top contenders for the win. However, as the lead group regrouped, Politt and Tratnik made a bold move to break away and gained a 16-second lead as they approached Ninove. Politt led the sprint in the last kilometer, but appeared fatigued as veteran Tratnik overtook him and crossed the finish line first.

Tratnik expressed surprise at his win, acknowledging that Visma-Lease A Bike has a strong team for the Classics. He admitted to not having much experience in Classics in the past and playing a supporting role in this race. However, he praised his teammates for their performance in the first half of the race. Despite missing the breakaway, Tratnik remained focused and determined as five of his teammates were still leading the race. He then took advantage of a counterattack opportunity and eventually won the sprint, though he had some initial concerns about his chances against Nils.

Early on in the race, a large group of over 30 riders broke away from the peloton. This group was later reduced as they approached the 50km mark, with Christophe Laporte, Van Aert, Jorgenson, Gianni Moscon (Soudal-QuickStep), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek), and Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) appearing to be the top contenders for the win.

Jan Tratnik, second left, in action during the race.View image in fullscreen

Jorgenson’s teammates on Visma-Lease A Bike eased off the gas when he made his move at the 17km mark, resulting in a loss of control of the lead group. This caused the group to expand from just six elite riders to over 20. While Tom Pidcock was in a good position among the leaders towards the end, he was unable to maintain it and ultimately finished in eighth place.

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“I was struggling towards the finish,” he said in an interview with Eurosport after the race. “It was challenging, starting the race from 30km out is particularly difficult. We were aware that the wind would be strong and it ended up causing a split in the race, even though it wasn’t as strong as we had anticipated. We were leading with a 40-second advantage for a long time, but it didn’t work out in the end. I ran out of energy at the finish, but that’s just how it goes.”

Longo Borghini took charge in the women’s race, making a strong comeback from the rear of the pack and surpassing the initial lead group. However, Vos refused to be beaten. While Longo Borghini was ahead, Kopecky, the world champion, made a move near the end of the Muur climb. This resulted in Vos and Shirin van Anrooij joining her, creating the final four riders who would compete for the win.

Source: theguardian.com