Lotte Kopecky did herself and Liv Racing a great favour. She crowned herself Belgian road champion for the second time in a row on Sunday. Last week Kopecky also took the national time trial title.
The decisive moment fell in the final lap on the last part of the Holstraat. There Kopecky placed an impressive acceleration. She then rode solo to the finish line in Waregem. Teammate Valerie Demey finished ninth 19 seconds later.
“National championships are always difficult, because they are unpredictable. I didn’t have the best feeling. The freshness was missing, probably as a result of a hard week of training. At the start I thought: with these legs I won’t get far. In the first two hours of the race, that feeling remained. Valerie did a lot of good work at that point. She tried to control the race and to jump along. Because she was so active in the race, I was able to save myself for the right moment.”
That right moment came on the last passage of the Holstraat. “The pace was really high, everyone was close to their limits. I knew I had to go full gas and that this would be my only real chance, because the legs were just not good enough for the sprint”, she said. “In the final kilometres, Valerie showed her power again. She reacted to all counterattacks and must have gotten on the nerves of a lot of riders. That’s part of the game.”
On Tuesday Kopecky will start in the Lotto Belgium Tour. After that the full focus will be on the Olympics in Tokyo.
Photo credits: Cor Vos