Lotte Kopecky, the reigning world road champion, shared her aspirations for the upcoming Paris Olympics with WielerFlits, making it clear that her entire season isn’t solely focused on the Games. Belgian Cycling recently hosted a gathering for potential Olympic participants, where the likes of Greg Van Avermaet addressed the 55 riders from various disciplines. The event aimed to inform and inspire the athletes about various aspects of the Games, including logistics and accommodations, though specific details like whether to stay in the Olympic village or a riders’ hotel are yet to be decided.
Kopecky, with potential participation in four disciplines – omnium, Madison, road race, and time trial – believes her best chances lie in the road race, although she acknowledges its unpredictability. “If I’m in top condition, I should be able to compete for medals in the omnium too,” Kopecky stated. She mentioned that her participation in the team Madison depends on the situation with her regular partner Shari Bossuyt, who is currently suspended. Kopecky is considering limiting her events to two or maybe three, factoring in the risk and medal potential of each race.
Regarding the road race course in Paris, Kopecky has reviewed it and plans to recon it soon. She expects a different kind of race with a maximum of four riders per country, making it hard to control. Kopecky believes the early breakaway, similar to what happened in Tokyo, is unlikely this time as teams, especially the Netherlands, will not repeat the same mistake of not taking responsibility.
Kopecky feels the smaller team sizes work in her favour, as it levels the playing field against traditionally strong teams like Italy and the Netherlands. She is confident about Belgium’s ability to field a strong four-rider team. For 2023, Kopecky doesn’t want to put all her focus on the Olympics, aiming for a successful spring season to build momentum for Paris. She acknowledges her current career peak and hopes for a successful month, but remains aware of the sport’s unpredictability.
Her preparation for Paris will be similar to this year’s approach for the World Championships, with the Giro being a definite possibility. However, her immediate focus is on the upcoming spring season, with plans likely to evolve. While reflecting on her achievements this year, Kopecky is excited about the future and is motivated to replicate or surpass this year’s success in the significant year ahead, particularly with the Olympics as an added incentive.