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Kopecky’s gift backfires as eary celebration costs SD Worx Tour of Britain stage win

Kopecky's gift backfires as eary celebration costs SD Worx Tour of Britain stage win

Never celebrate early. Never gift a win, even to a teammate. These are two unstated rules of racing. On Sunday at Tour of Britain, SD Worx-Protime violated both rules and payed bigtime.

Stage four of Women’s Tour of Britain could not have been going better for the dominant Women’s World Tour team. And it could not have ended much worse. World champion Lotte Kopecky was out in front of the peloton and, seeing as she was already wearing the green leader’s jersey at the head of the GC race, decided to gift her teammates the win. That seemed like an OK idea, as they appeared in total control of the bunch sprint when Kopecky looked back and saw nothing but teammates. She looked back again and Christine Majerus and Lorena Wiebes were still in control. Kopecky she stopped pedalling.

What happened next was amazing, or brutal, depending what team you were on.

Majerus celebrated. Ruby Roseman-Ganon sprinted and, with a bike throw, takes the win. While it was so close that the announcers weren’t sure right away who earned the victory, Kopecky’s last-minute bike throw and exasperated gestures suggest she was pretty sure the Australian had successfully stolen the stage victory.

While Kopecky keeps the leader’s jersey, Sunday’s finale fiasco surely dampens the celebrations. SD Worx-Protime had won every stage up until that point. The team is already the subject of rumours and media attention since the early announcement that re-sign Kopecky at the cost of losing Demi Vollering. This kind gesture gone wrong probably won’t help things much.

A long history of early celebrations

This isn’t, amazingly, the first time an early celebration has cost SD Worx-Protime a win. It isn’t even the first time this year. Wiebes early celebration at Amstel Gold Race saw Marianne Vos take the win back in April.

But having the win locked up, attempting a gift and screwing up both is surely a new level of disaster for the team.

If the team don’t seem keen on learning the early celebration lesson, hopefully they’ll pay attention and not give more gifts. Wout van Aert faced heavy criticism for giving away Gent-Wevelgem to a teammate in 2023. If you’re at all superstitous, that race also marked the start of a bad-luck streak that has lasted…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…