It was victory for Max Walscheid at this year’s Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde, successfully joining the race’s decisive breakaway during the concluding town centre circuits, going on to produce a powerful sprint to claim the win.
Beginning in testing conditions from the start line in Middelkerke, high winds and heavy rain soon split the peloton, seeing several groups form on the roads as they battled against the elements. The effect was soon evident, as a reduced peloton formed and set about pursuing a leading duo’s advantage of 2’00”, en route to the first of the day’s finishing circuits in Lichtervelde.
With their lead reduced once several laps had been completed, those at the head of the peloton sensed an opportunity to attack, soon producing a series of skirmishes which resulted in six riders breaking free; featuring Max amongst their ranks.
Initially collaborating well together upon the wet roads, the break established their lead rapidly, knowing that the day’s honours now appeared certain to be decided amongst them. After several efforts from his rivals to ride clear from the group, Max raised the pace and produced a powerful sprint finish to take the victory himself and leave the rest chasing him home for the podium places.