Lotte Kopecky has successfully defended her Belgian time trial title. She set the fastest time on a circuit of 27.7 kilometers with start and finish at the air force base in Koksijde. Teammate Julie Van De Velde finished third, 1’10″ behind, which made her only eight seconds slower than runner-up Sara Van de Vel.
Lotte Kopecky: “I am very happy to renew my Belgian TT title. It is nice to start the season again like this. Last week, on Tuesday, I did a strength training and it took me a few days to recover, but the values of my exercise test last Monday were very good. So I knew that the condition was fine. On Tuesday I checked the course, the part outside the military domain, for the first time.”
“There was a lot of wind. Unfortunately never tail wind. The few bends on the course were treacherous because of the small stones. Shari Bossuyt quickly came into my reach. In the meantime, I also heard that I was doing well. For me it is important in a TT to get some intermediate times and info.”
Next Thursday, Lotte will take part in the road race at the European Championship in Plouay, on Saturday she will be at the start of La Course in Nice.
“I am very happy that we can race again and I think that we can continue now, provided that precautions are maintained, of course. In any case, it is good that I can now wear this Belgian champion’s jersey for another year. Now we head to the European Championships and La Course. If the climb in La Course does not cause a large selection and we can sprint for the victory with a group, I can get a good result.”
Julie Van de Velde looks back with satisfaction on her third place. Next week she will again compete against the clock at the European Championships in Plouay. The West Flemish is selected for the time trial and the mixed relay and also for the road race.
Julie Van De Velde: “On this course here in Koksijde, I am satisfied with third place. This was not my type of course: flat and with a lot of wind. It is a pity that I was only eight seconds away from second place, but congrats to Sara. Like me, she has a history in athletics and so we know each other. I knew she would be strong. And of course I am happy for Lotte that she has successfully defended her title.”
“Because we were on the military domain, I was only able to explore the entire route once. The European Championships in Plouay next week should suit me more. What we can expect from the road race will depend on the climb, which I cannot fully estimate at the moment. Are we going to the finish with a large group or does the climb cause separation? For myself I hope for the latter.”