Italian Davide Ballerini wins first Flemish Spring Classic of the season

The cycling season got under way here in Flanders on Saturday with the first Spring Classic race of 2021 the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The Italian David Ballerini was the first to complete the 200.5-kilometre course from Ghent to Ninove (both East Flanders). Ballerini rides for the the Belgian Deceuninck-Quickstep team. 

He completed the race in 4 hours, 43 minutes and 3 seconds. Second in was the British rider Jake Steward with the Fleming Sep Vanmarcke coming in third.

Philippe Gilbert was the only other Belgian in the top 10. Gilbert came in 5th behind the Australian Heinrich Haussler and ahead of the Spaniard Alex Aranburu.

This year coronavirus restrictions meant that no spectators were allowed to line the route to catch a glimpse of their cycling heroes. Unless you were lucky enough to live along the route of the race you had little choice other than to follow the advice of its organisers and watch it on television. 

Like all other Flemish Spring Classic, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was shown live on VRT Television that can be watch through a traditional TV set or online via the VRTNU app. 

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