Lotte Kopecky, the reigning road world champion, has outlined her carefully selected goals for a critical Olympic year, balancing road and track cycling ambitions. Amidst her packed schedule, Kopecky, 28, dismisses any notion of internal competition within the ‘Dream Team’ SD Worx-ProTime, focusing instead on effective planning and clear communication. She emphasises the importance of teamwork, stating that while she has her personal ambitions in specific races, the team’s collective success is paramount.
Kopecky begins her road season at the UAE Tour Women from 8-11 February, followed by classics like Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (24 February) and Strade Bianche (2 March), both previous victories for her. Post-Strade Bianche, she’ll participate in the Nations Cup in Hong Kong (15-17 March) before returning to the road for Gent-Wevelgem (24 March), Tour of Flanders (31 March), Paris-Roubaix (6 April), Amstel Gold Race (14 April), and her first Liège-Bastogne-Liège (21 April).
Kopecky’s approach is to not focus on one specific race but rather the entire spring calendar. She acknowledges the potential risks in races like Paris-Roubaix, where a crash can end hopes in an instant. Her winter training has been fruitful, avoiding injuries or illnesses, which sets her up positively for the upcoming season. Her focus on long, demanding training sessions, even alongside male colleagues, has prepared her well for the challenges ahead.
There is also considerable interest from other teams. I am in a strong position, which allows me to consider all options with my management calmly and not have to make a hasty decision. After the classics I hope to be out. And I decide which direction I will take my career in the coming years. Just so you understand: I really enjoy being here, I don’t necessarily have to leave. But maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some fresh air.”Lotte Kopecky
Kopecky’s future with SD Worx-ProTime, however, remains uncertain as her contract ends this year. She’s currently in a strong negotiating position, with interest from other teams, but is yet to make a definitive decision on her future. She aims to finalise her plans post-classics season.
Within the team, Kopecky is not the sole top rider. SD Worx-ProTime also boasts talents like Demi Vollering and Lorena Wiebes. However, Kopecky is confident that the team’s approach, which worked well last year, will continue to yield results. She stresses the need for good strategy and mutual support, ready to work for others if the situation calls for it.
As the summer approaches, Kopecky’s focus will shift to the Olympics, with discussions planned for late April to strategise her approach. Her objective is to maintain enough form post-Olympics for the World Championships later in the year. Despite the packed calendar, Kopecky is enthusiastic about tackling these challenges, indicative of her love for high-stakes and demanding race combinations.