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Opening Weekend in Flanders

A promising opening into Tudor Pro Cycling’s Classics Campaign

Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend Matteo Trentin

The weekend with the cobbled one-day races Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne is referred to as “Opening Weekend”. It also marked the opening of Tudor Pro Cycling’s first ever Cobbled Classics Campaign.

Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend
Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend

In 2023 the team opted to not race them, knowing how attritious they are not just for the riders but also for the material as well as the staff. For 2024, the team took measures to make sure the riders are as well supported as possible. A staggering 30 bottle points were installed for the two races to provide the riders with bottles and gels but also with wheels in case of punctures most likely to happen on the cobbled sectors.

Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend
Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend

Punctures did not happen thanks to the great work of the mechanics as well as the material provided by DT Swiss and Schwalbe. The big numbers of bottle points also mean a big amount of people covering those spots. Since the staff could not handle all of those spots, Belgian chef Bram Lippens organized two of his friends to cover one of the spots during Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

This kind of support will be even more needed in bigger Flemish Classics such as E3 Saxo Bank Classics and of course the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the second Monument of the season. The Ronde usually attracts hundreds of thousands of people to watch the race live along the course. The spectacle is a “holy” day in Flanders, that makes it difficult for the staff to cover a lot of points since road blocks and traffic are at a much higher frequency. For exactly those challenges, the Opening Weekend was the perfect rehearsal on all fronts for the team, first and foremost on the racing front.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend

Tudor Pro Cycling Omloop Het Nieusblad Opening Weekend

The Belgian Cobbled Classics are often ridden very aggressively due to a constant fight for positions and the wind affecting the race. It was no different in 2024. In Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the peloton was already blown to pieces after 70 kilometers. The team of main favorite Wout van Aert took advantage of crosswinds to put pressure on the other teams. The riders of the Tudor Pro Cycling Team were caught off guard and found themselves on the backfoot for almost all of the rest of the race.

Thanks to the pacing of Tudor and other teams the gap shrunk, and the different groups came back together one after the other. A thrilling finale lead to two riders getting away on the run-in to the finish. The remaining bunch sprinted for 3rd place. Tudor’s best finisher was Matteo Trentin (9th).


Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday is the perfect example for how cycling changed within the last couple of years. Not long ago, the race was known as a sprinters' classics where the victory was decided among a small group of riders. The winner was usually a fast guy, able to climb and deal with the intensity of the Classics' nature. These days teams try to make use of the hilly sections in the middle of the race to make it hard for the sprinters and to create a situation in which they can benefit from their strength in numbers.

It was no different in 2024. Again Wout van Aert’s team Visma Lease a bike took control early with more than 100 kilometers to go. The result – a selected group of Classics specialists tried to make their way to the finish. In the end Wellens, Lozkano and van Aert stayed away with the latter sprinting to his second victory in this race. For Tudor Pro Cycling Marius Mayrhofer finished off another solid race by sprinting to 9th.

Crashes are part of cobbled one-day races as much as the cobblestones are. The narrow roads lead to teams wanting to enter those sectors in the first positions of the bunch. This often leads to fierce fights for positions that cause crashes. Unfortunately, Tudor could not avoid them all and hit the ground in both races. In Omloop Hed Nieuwsblad, Alex Krieger and Marius Mayrhofer were involved in the same crash. Luckily both were not hurt too seriously and were able to race the next day. On Sunday, Mika Heming was less lucky. The German rider suffered injuries to his face, ending the race in hospital.

All in all, the Opening Weekend was a solid start into the team’s Classics campaign. The first glimpse of racing up north provided the team and the riders with a lot of teachingful moments but also with a lot of confidence towards the upcoming Classics.

Main Results

  • Matteo Trentin, 9th, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

  • Maris Mayrhofer, 9th, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne


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