Renowned cyclist Lotte Kopecky is forced to reconfigure her timetable following the unforeseen cancellation of the ‘Lotto Belgium Tour’. Given the dearth of viable alternatives, she is participating in men’s junior events. Among other venues, Kopecky is poised to put her utmost efforts on display in Wetteren after taking victory in Diest today.
The ninth iteration of the Lotto Belgium Tour, a five-day affair culminating in Geraardsbergen, was originally set to unfold from Wednesday 14 June to Sunday 18 June. All preparations appeared to be on track until the event organiser, Tom Thienpont, was informed that the municipality of Frasnes-lez-Buissenal, situated just beyond the language border, lacked adequate traffic signs and marshals to ensure the safety of the competitors during the penultimate stage, which was slated to conclude in Ronse. The entire tournament was subsequently cancelled.
The cancellation announcement took an unexpected turn when Lotte Kopecky disclosed her unique resolution prior to the commencement of Dwars door het Hageland. In the past, former competitor Ellen Van Loy also found herself pitted against junior male cyclists. While this approach isn’t unheard of in women’s cycling due to the scarcity of races at certain points, it is particularly notable when such a prominent Belgian rider like Kopecky follows suit.
“Due to the lack of other competitions, I will compete with the junior men. Next week I will start in Wetteren, after that I will also look for other junior races. Unfortunately, there are long queues to be at the start of such a competition. I’ve done that a few times in the past. I need those races to get into competition rhythm with a view to the Belgian Championship. I’m not going on any more altitude training, so we will see with the team how we will spend the month of July.”Lotte Kopecky