The race that signals the start of the spring season was animated from the start, with a small breakaway opening up a sizeable gap. But slightly damp conditions and a series of testing climbs meant they were never likely to stay away, and so it proved.
The Kapelmuur provided the turning point as expected, further splitting an already broken race and establishing a leading group of five going into the final 15km.
Greg van Avermaet was among that number, but it was Stybar who made the winning move, catching the others off guard with 2.5km remaining and opening up a big enough gap to allow him the luxury of soaking in the celebrations across the line.
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Watch Stybar hold on to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
02/03/2019 AT 15:51

Watch Stybar hold on to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

“Finally it happened and I could finish it off in a cobbled classic! The feeling is really nice, the form is good and the team has confidence in me, which is so important; everything fell into place today and I am so happy with what I achieved, that I can’t put it into words”, Stybar said in a statement released by his team after the win.
"The race was different than last year, because we had a tailwind in the second part and this helped. The real race started on the Molenberg and we worked well together, even on the Muur and Bosberg, believing we could make it to the finish line. Initially, I was waiting for the sprint, but with two kilometers left I felt it was the right moment to go and thus went full gas.”


Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora-Hansgrohe
Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
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