Do not be put off by the title. The Omloop, formerly known as Het Volk, signals the start of the Belgian cobbled classics season….and this race has been won by stellar performers such as Herman van Springel, Roger de Vlaeminck, Eddy Merckx, Freddy Maertens, Peter van Petegem and Greg van Avermaet.
The weather forecast for Saturday’s renewal is unusually benign, with mild and dry conditions on the cards.
The defending champion and Olympic gold medallist, Greg van Avermaet and world road race champ Peter Sagan head the betting, and will no doubt prove difficult to beat. However…both Team Sky and Quickstep Doors field super strong line-ups with several possible candidates among their startlists.
But in analysing and overthinking the form of the obvious choices, The Wattmeister would miss out on the pure enjoyment enunciating the names of some of the lesser known rouleurs.
Jens Keukeleire (Orica), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty), Pieter Vanspeybrouck, Coen Vanmeltvoort (Roompot) and Stijn Vandenbergh (AGR) all have names and racing form worthy of being inscribed on the trophy.
But none of these riders are this year’s tip for glory.
For the first time, The Wattmeister can, free of charge, share the intricacies of the methodology he has invented to cement his abject failure as a punter.
Using the formula C x E / A = S, where C is conjecture, E is estimation, A is approximation and S is Supposition….this year’s event will be won by the exquisitely named Jens Debuscherre, currently priced a 33/1 with Bet 365.