Race report

Walscheid wins at wet Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde

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.

Team Sunweb | Casper Pedersen
Team Sunweb | Roy Curvers
Team Sunweb | Cees Bol
Team Sunweb | Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb | Roy Curvers
Team Sunweb | Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb | Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb | Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb | Max Walscheid

The day’s champion, Max Walscheid, spoke afterwards: “I’m super happy to take this victory for the team at the end of the season, as I was waiting a while for it. Today’s a really special one for me, because normally I achieve all my results from a bigger group, but today we sprinted for the win from just five guys. I wanted to do well today really badly, so I was quite active which I’m not used to, normally I’m saved for the final and go for the sprint.”

“Today it was super nice to have an offensive open race on a parcours which suited me, as well as the conditions too. I felt very strong in the final and knew I could rely on a sprint out of the group, but I still had to hold it together as one group. I’m just super happy how it went and grateful for the chance. It’s a very nice feeling at the end of the season, but it’s not over yet.”

Michiel Elijzen, Team Sunweb coach, said after the finish: “It was great to see Max win today after a tough day on the bike today. Taking the victory from a small breakaway, it was a nice win in a way that we don’t often see Max win races. We made the race hard with all the team today and it was a strong performance by all the guys with Max finishing off the hard work.”