In a tightly contested Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic, Lotte Kopecky, riding for SD Worx, showcased her exceptional speed to clinch victory. Her triumphant finish marked the conclusion of a gruelling 140.5-kilometre flat race and secured her fourth victory of the current season.
This distinguished race, seeing its third edition, threw the athletes into a challenging circuit that included four traverses of the Grebbeberg and Paardenveld, known for their testing conditions. The route snaked its way through Wageningen, Rhenen, and the expansive inner fields, leading the women’s peloton back into Veenendaal time and again. As tradition dictates, the finish was located on Kerkewijk, setting the stage for a thrilling mass sprint that ultimately determined the victor.
The starting line-up was graced with the presence of some of the world’s top cyclists, including Tour of Flanders winner Lotte Kopecky, Rachele Barbieri, and Fem van Empel. Early in the race, Eline Jansen of WV Schijndel demonstrated her tenacity by forging an early lead. Later, the Oceania continental champion Sophie Edwards of ARA and Anneke Dijkstra of GT Krush Rebellease managed to catch up to Jansen, intensifying the head-to-head competition at the front of the pack. Despite attempts from a number of riders, including Fem Van Empel, to bridge the gap to the leading group, their efforts proved fruitless.
As the race approached the final lap, the breakaway riders were absorbed back into the peloton. Battling a formidable headwind, the cyclists forged a united front as they sprinted towards the finish line. The finishing straight bore witness to Kopecky’s superior sprinting prowess, as she outran her competitors to clinch the victory. Martina Fidanza and Daria Pikulik displayed commendable performances, albeit falling slightly short of the top spot. They rounded out the podium in second and third place respectively, underscoring the high level of competition at this year’s Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic.
“It’s a nice entry. Immediate success in the second part of the season. It’s extra nice to win another sprint. This is good for confidence. On the penultimate lap we tried to take advantage of the wind, but it just didn’t blow hard enough to create echelons.
Actually, we knew in advance that it would end in a bunch sprint, Mischa Bredewold, Lonneke Uneken and Barbara Guarischi provided the perfect lead-out, after which it was up to me to finish it off.”Lotte Kopecky
2023 Veenendaal Veenendaal result
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