The Dutch rider beat Juan Antonio Flecha in a two-man sprint to take the biggest win of his career in the rain last year. Over the winter he moved to the new GreenEDGE team, and may be given the freedom to defend his victory.
JUAN ANTONIO FLECHA
First in 2010, Second in 2011. That mean's he's legally obliged to finish third this year. Wait, is that really how it works? Anyway, he excels in these types of races in these types of conditions. It's hard not to imagine that he'll find himself in the mix somewhere.
PhilGil has won here twice before, in 2006 and 2008. Last year he was winning even the biggest races like it was nothing, so his ambitions for 2012 are likely to be loftier than the little Omloop, but he always gives everything he's got and may well make an impact here.
The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has a special place in Boonen's heart and he always aims to be competitive here to start the season off right for his Belgian team and fans. But surprisingly, he's never actually won. Maybe he'll stand on the top step of the podium this year.