Lotte Kopecky wins Strade Bianche from Longo Borghini

Lotte-Kopecky-2024-Strade-Bianche-finish

Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky, riding for SD Worx-Protime, claimed victory in the prestigious Strade Bianche women’s race for the second time in her career after beating Annemiek van Vleuten in 2022. Kopecky showcased her strength by distancing herself from her competitors, including Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini of Lidl-Trek, before reaching Siena and finally Longo Borghini on the steep ascent up the Via Santa Caterina in the final kilometre of the race.

The race unfolded with intense competition among the riders, with Kopecky making a decisive move 10 kilometres from the finish line. Despite a fierce pursuit by Longo Borghini, Kopecky managed to maintain her lead, with the duo engaging in a tactical battle during the closing stages of the race.

Lotte Kopecky 2024 Strade Bianche

Reflecting on her team’s strategy, Kopecky emphasised the importance of teamwork and credited her teammates for their support throughout the race. “We were a bit more in control today,” she remarked. “Elena Cecchini put us out of the wind and led us into the sectors, and we had Mischa Bredewold in the break. Niamh Fisher-Black did a great job in the final, then Demi and I were there on Le Tolfe and played it really well.”

Despite feeling fatigued earlier in the race, Kopecky maintained her composure and relied on her experience to secure the win. “I didn’t have my best day today,” she admitted. “I really suffered the whole day, I felt pretty tired, but it didn’t get any worse during the race. I’ve had this before and just tried not to panic and trust that my legs will be there.”

Mischa Bredewold 2024 Strade Bianche

In the crucial moments leading to her victory, Kopecky displayed remarkable confidence and strategic acumen. “You can go early, but I waited a little bit longer,” she explained. “It was just how I felt, and I think it was a good moment. It’s amazing to win in this jersey, and two weeks ago I signed for four years with SD Worx-Protime, so I wanted to give that confidence back.”

The race’s unfolding saw various tactical manoeuvres and intense battles among the riders, with the peloton staying together until the demanding San Martino sector, where Lidl-Trek’s aggressive pace reduced the group to approximately 60 riders.

A breakaway group of ten riders emerged on the Monteaperti sector but crashes on a treacherous downhill section thinned their ranks, including Kopecky’s teammate Mischa Bredewold who crashed hard but would eventually finish 52nd. Canyon SRAM took up the challenge on the second ascent of Le Tolfe, setting a tough pace that left the front group as just Kasia Niewiadoma, Elisa Longo Borghini, Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Shirin van Anrooij. The post-climb attacks saw Longo Borghini go clear with Kopecky and that set up the finish.

Despite the challenges, Kopecky and her teammates remained focused on their objectives, with Demi Vollering ultimately securing a podium finish in third place. Kopecky’s victory adds to her growing list of achievements and reinforces her status as one of the top contenders in women’s cycling.

2024 Strade Bianche Women result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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