Lotte Kopecky Secures Second Nokere Koerse Victory of Her Career

Belgium’s 28-year-old world champion, Lotte Kopecky, has clinched victory in the prestigious Nokere Koerse for the second time in her career. Riding for Team SD Worx, Kopecky crossed the finish line solo after completing 127 kilometres, including a challenging 17-kilometre total over cobblestones.

Despite a fall earlier in the day that also included her teammate Lorena Wiebes, Kopecky showcased remarkable resilience, powering through the gruelling race. She first attacked with 75km to go to bridge over to a move with Sofia Bertizzolo but the Italian couldn’t keep up with her. A touch too early to go solo, Kopecky rejoined the peloton.

A small group had gone clear but with 14 kilometres remaining, Kopecky launched a decisive attack on the cobblestones of the Lange Ast, a 400-meter section with a 5.2 per cent gradient. Only Lorena Wiebes, Lily Williams, and Arlenis Sierra managed to keep pace with her as the original group was quickly swallowed up.

The front group swelled with the inclusion of riders from Movistar like Floortje Mackaij and Emma Norsgaard, joined by Drentse Acht winner Sofie van Rooijen. With the group now bigger, Kopecky chose to attack again with 8km to go. That proved to be the decisive move as Lily Williams looked around before chasing. Despite the numerical advantage by Movistar, the gap was never likely to come back.

The team in blue then rode hard to try and reduce it, to no avail and effectively led out Lorena Wiebes to 2nd place. Movistar’s riding worked against them as their 3 riders would occupy the final 3 positions in the front group of 7 with Lily Williams sprinting to her first UCI race podium.

Her victory holds special significance, considering the emotional journey she has experienced in Nokere. Last year, she crossed the finish line in tears, still mourning the loss of her brother. Despite the personal hardships, Kopecky honoured her commitment to the race, demonstrating immense courage and strength of character.

Reflecting on her triumph, Kopecky expressed gratitude for her family’s unwavering support, particularly her grandparents, who have been her biggest fans since childhood. Their presence at the race added to the emotional significance of her victory.

Looking ahead, Kopecky says that she remains focused on her cycling goals, including securing her spot in the Olympic omnium event in Paris. With her confidence high and her form improving, she aims to approach the upcoming challenges with determination and optimism, saying that her hard work and dedication will continue to propel her towards success.

2024 Women’s Nokere Koerse result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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