The first cobbled classic of the year is upon us, which means the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen is looming large. It's a milestone event on the cycling calendar, so follow our guide below as we explain how to get an Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream and watch UCI World Tour cycling online from anywhere today.
The one-day race, which is still affectionately known as Het Volk in some parts, welcomes back reigning champions Jasper Stuyven and Annemiek van Vleuten, with the women's race set to get underway in Gent shortly after the men's.
The men's route covers 200km, taking in 13 climbs and 14 cobbled sections, while the women's route is significantly shorter, with 10 climbs and nine cobbled sections over a 120km course.
It goes without saying that both routes feature a thigh-burning climb up the cobbled Muur van Geraardsbergen, a legendary 1km stretch with an average gradient of 9% and a maximum incline of 20%, followed by the Bosberg (also cobbled) and a descent to the finish line in Ninove.
Trek-Segafredo and Deceuninck–Quick-Step have brought the big guns to Flanders, with last year's winner Stuyven riding alongside former world champion Mads Pedersen for the former, and world champion Julian Alaphilippe, 2020 Omloop runner-up Yves Lampaert, and 2019 winner Zdenek Stybar riding for the latter.
There's extra pressure on van Vleuten, who's not only defending her champion but making her debut for Team Movistar, while her former Team BikeExchange teammate Grace Brown will be looking to step up after a stellar 2020.
Read on for everything you need to know to watch an Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream from anywhere in the world right now.
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How to watch a FREE Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream online today
Prepare to dust off that Lonely Planet phrase book if you want to 'voir en direct', because anyone in Belgium can watch a FREE Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream on Sporza, while those in France can get the race on L'Equipe without paying a penny.
If you're a resident of either country who's abroad right now, don't worry about missing the action - all you need to do is download a VPN to re-connect to your home streaming coverage.
Our latest 2021 testing showed our recommended VPN working well on both these platforms from abroad, and we'll be sure to confirm for this race as soon as it's under way.
How to watch Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021 from outside your country
If you're desperate to watch the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad but you're away from home and the coverage is geo-blocked, then you could always use a VPN to access it (assuming you're not breaching any broadcaster T&Cs, of course). You may be surprised how simple it is to do.
Use a VPN to get an Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream from anywhere
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2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live stream: how to watch online in the UK
For UK residents, Eurosport Player has you covered for live Omloop Het Nieuwsblad coverage.
The streaming service is affordable, at just £6.99 a month or £39.99 for the year, and is compatible with a wide array of devices and platforms.
Another option is the GCN+ Race Pass, which also costs £39.99 for a year, but the caveat is that it's mobile-only.
Coverage starts at 1.10pm GMT on both platforms.
And remember, to watch your home coverage from abroad, you can always use a VPN, log back in to a server in your country and watch as if you were there.
How to watch the 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: live stream cycling in Canada
Canadians can tune into the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad live on FloBikes, with coverage starting at 8am ET/5am PT.
A monthly subscription will cost you $30 while a yearly account will set you back $150 ($12.50 per month), which will give you access to coverage of major cycling events throughout the year.
Not in Canada to catch that Flobikes stream? Well you know the answer by now... using a VPN is the way to make sure you don't miss a moment.
How to watch Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021: US cycling live stream details
FloBikes is also the place to tune in to for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad coverage in the US. Just as it does north of the border, the action is set to get underway at 8am ET/5am PT.
A monthly FloBikes subscription is available for $30, but if you commit to a year you'll pay $150, which works out at $12.50 per month.
And if you're currently out of the US but still want to watch the race, then don't forget to explore the VPN route set out above.
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Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.