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by Mark Zalewski
January 20, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Caleb Ewan asserts Tour Down Under sprint dominance with stage 3 win; The comeback star: Marianne Vos on her stellar cross season and the pure joy of being back; Cookson answers questions at Tour Down Under; Nippo – Vini Fantini manager asks for Italian federation, UCI to intervene in Giro wildcard process; RCS Sport director responds to wildcard selection reactions; Quintana to race Giro-Tour double;Wiggins’ former teammate speaks in defence of TUEs; 15 WorldTour teams for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Gaudry re-elected as President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation; Armstrong enters endurance MTB race with former Postal teammates; Santos Tour Down Under, stage 3 highlights; ORICA-Scott Backstage Pass – Tour Down Under, stage 3; Video: Cyclist has close call with falling tree.
15 of the 18 WorldTour teams will participate in the 72nd edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as it ascends to the WorldTour level in 2017.
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) won the 71st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2016.
As a new WorldTour event, WorldTour teams are not obligated to participate like they are for the original WorldTour events. And in a twist the UCI recently announced that any of the newly elevated events that failed to secure at least 10 WorldTour teams would run the risk of losing their status.
Cycling Pro reported that Dimension Data, Movistar and UAE Abu Dhabi chose not to participate, likely due to a lack of a true Classics contender on their teams.
It also reported that Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is expected to have 14 WorldTour teams, with both Team Sky and Dimension Data opting out.
The ability for WorldTour teams to pick and choose from the new events leaves a silver lining for ProContinental teams, as 10 will now have a chance to be selected for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Click through to read more at Cycling Pro.