Lotte Kopecky is the second Belgian woman to win the Tour of Flanders. In a very strong final she drove away after the Paterberg together with defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten and teammate Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. In the sprint there was no limit to Kopecky.
19th edition Tour of Flanders for women in a nutshell:
- Key moment: On the Paterberg, Annemiek van Vleuten closes the gap with leaders Marlen Reusser and Brodie Chapman. Lotte Kopecky was in the wheel of the Dutch. Kopecky and Van Vleuten came first together with Chantal Blaak. Blaak worked in the lead for Kopecky and rolled out the red carpet for our compatriot.
- Winner of the day: Lotte Kopecky dreamed of the Tour of Flanders and today she adds this race to her palmares. Our compatriot could count on a strong team. SD Worx guided her to victory. In March she won the Strade Bianche and a month later she achieved the victory of her dreams.
- Loser of the Day (1): Annemiek van Vleuten drove a tough race, but had to bow to Lotte Kopecky in the sprint. She misses her 3rd victory in the Tour. She could only become a record holder.
- Loser of the Day (2): Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) often shook the tree, but in the final the Trek-Segafredo riders were nowhere to be seen.
De Koppenberg made his in the 19th edition of the Tour of Flanders
entry into the women’s peloton. After 114 kilometers the heaviest slope of the
Annemiek van Vleuten showed herself and highlighted the first passage ever over the Koppenberg in the Ronde. The Dutch got Lotte Kopecky along.
After the Koppenberg a group of favorites arose including Kopecky, Van Vleuten, Vollering and Bastianelli.
On the Taaienberg the peloton tore to pieces. 11 riders launched an offensive. Van Vleuten and Kopecky let them go and would later take their chance on the other tough slopes.
On the Kruisberg/Hotond, Van Vleuten and Kopecky jumped out of the pack again. Kopecky could sleep on both ears for the time being, because in the leading group were teammates Christina Majerus and Marlen Reusser.
SD Worx rolls out red carpet for Kopecky
The match was colored by several attacking attempts. Reusser (SD Worx) rode a remarkable course. At the Oude Kwaremont she ran off together with the Australian Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope)
On the last slope, the Paterberg, Van Vleuten pulled out all the stops for the umpteenth time. She closed the gap with Reusser and Chapman. Again it is Kopecky who could remain in the wheel of the Dutch.
Chantal Blaak attacked after the Paterberg. Lotte Kopecky did not close the gap with her teammate herself, but left it to Van Vleuten.
Blaak, Kopecky and Van Vleuten formed a leading group. Blaak took charge of Kopecky. Our compatriot could in the
Blowing out her teammate’s wheel, Van Vleuten knew she wouldn’t get it as a gift in a sprint with Kopecky.
Van Vleuten started the sprint himself, but Kopecky clearly had the best final shot after 11 climbs and 6 cobblestone sections. After the Strade Bianche, our compatriot Van Vleuten finishes in the sprint again. Chantal Blaak finished nicely in 3rd place.
Annemiek van Vleuten: “My team surprised me”
Annemiek van Vleuten became 2nd after a strong race. She had to bow her head to a phenomenal Lotte Kopecky.
“Lotte was very good today. They had the numerical superiority. My team also surprised me. In recent years I was often alone, but now I received support from Arlenis Sierra and Emma Norsgaard,” says Van Vleuten after the game.
“It was a difficult race, Lotte had a brilliant day.”
Van Vleuten made her last attack on the Paterberg. “The Paterberg was my last chance. SD Worx played well, I was stuck after the last slope,” concludes the Dutchman.
Chantal Blaak: “Glad to be on stage”
A strong SD Worx led Kopecky to victory. Chantal Blaak tried it alone after the Paterberg, but Van Vleuten charged her. Blaak took afterwards pulling the strings in function of its sprinter. The Dutch finished nicely in 3rd place.
“If I had stayed away, Lotte would have been fine with that. Everyone wants to win the Ronde and I ended up in a favorable situation. When we were back with 3, I kept driving for Kopecky. I had lost my chances,” said Blaak after the match.
“We were all cheering for Kopecky. Everyone had a good race and I’m happy to be on the podium.”