Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky claimed the third spot at Ronde van Vlaanderen today. One minute after Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak had soloed to victory, her teammate Amy Pieters sprinted to the second place, ahead of Kopecky. A well-deserved podium place for Kopecky who finished fifth at the Ronde in 2017.
Lotte Kopecky: “I am very happy with this third place. This result as a Belgian, in the Belgian jersey and in a Belgian team; that means a lot. The third place was the highest possible result for me today.”
Lotto Soudal chose for an offensive race as Teuntje Beekhuis was part of an early breakaway.
Lotte Kopecky: “And she did her job perfectly. That way we were quite relaxed in the bunch. After the Kanarieberg there wasn’t a big attack, contrary to what we had expected, it was quite a big group that headed to the Kruisberg and there the race exploded. I really suffered on the Kruisberg/Hotond but I managed to keep contact with the front group.”
“I knew I couldn’t be too far down in the group when turning up the Oude Kwaremont. I learned from my mistakes. I succeeded in hanging on and I could get up the Paterberg in a good position. Then I knew I just needed to hang on for about one and a half minutes. I just had to give everything I had left. And so I did. It was actually good that Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak went solo on the Kwaremont because otherwise Boels would have been able to play it hard in the finale with one attack after another and that would have been very tough. This was a good scenario as far as I am concerned and I am very happy to have that podium spot in the Ronde!”