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Markus triumphs in Volta NXT Classic with strategic team play

Femke Markus 2024 Volta Limburg

In an exhilarating showdown at the Volta NXT Classic 2024, Femke Markus of SD Worx-Protime clinched victory, outpacing the notably strong Julia Kopecký in a gripping final sprint, with teammate Niamh Fisher-Black securing third place. The race, which unfolded over a 119-kilometre course featuring the challenging climbs of Savelsbosweg and Moerslag, saw the women’s peloton navigate the local laps around Eijsden, Gronsveld, Sint Geertruid, and Mesch, concluding on the men’s local final lap.

The race’s challenging terrain early on distinguished the contenders from the rest, with SD Worx-Protime’s tactics significantly thinning the peloton. With 50 kilometres remaining, the competition seemed narrowed down to a select few. However, Kopecký’s attack on one of the climbs saw only Markus able to keep pace, setting the stage for a tense duel. The young Kiwi rider Niamh Fisher-Black would bridge across to add the numerical advantage to SD Worx against Kopecky.

Despite Kopecký leading into the final turn, Markus’s strength on the cobbled Diepstraat proved decisive, securing her win and marking her first victory in SD Worx-Protime colours. Markus reflected on the win, “This is a very beautiful victory. We rode well as a team, attacking in turns… This first win in the colours of SD Worx-Protime is a great step forward.” Kopecký, despite the loss, showed remarkable strength throughout the race, earning Markus’s respect, who acknowledged Kopecký as a formidable competitor.

The race wasn’t without its drama, as a close call with a car entering the course nearly disrupted the leading trio’s charge to the finish. Thankfully, the incident was avoided without consequence, allowing the race to conclude as planned.

2024 Volta Limburg Women result

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Main photo credit: Raymond Kerckhoffs