For many cycling fans, the red letter day of the season is Omloop Day. It has cobbles, it has bergs, it has the Kapelmuur – and it kicks off the Classics season. With worries around how much of the cycling season will actually get raced (Italian races in jeopardy, even the Tour de France coming into question due to the corona virus), it felt like we needed to drink in as much of the action as possible. And we got two fantastic wins. Both using the Kapelmuur well, it was a solo win for the world champion, Annamiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton Scott), in the women’s edition and Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven had enough in his legs to stay in front of Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Yves Lampaert to take the biggest win of his career in the men’s race.
When the pundits picked their favourite to win the last Monument of the year, the choices were names like Egan Bernal, Primoz Roglic, perhaps Jakob Fuglsang or finally Alejandro Valverde. But no one picked – or even probably thought about – the Il Lombardia 2019 champion. The Trek-Segafredo team were active throughout the race, from Tom Skujins in the break of the day to Giulio Ciccone punching up the climbs, but one wouldn’t have expected an attack by Bauke Mollema on the Civiglio to stick. But stick it did, winning the Dutch rider his first Monument and Trek’s second big win in the past few weeks. Valverde and Bernal were 16sec off the pace to take second and third respectively.
Kathi, Luke and Euan preview the Giro d’Italia, looking at the riders to watch, the stages not to miss and ask the controversial question: is this Giro going to be any good?