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Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Women, holding off a charging reduced field to take a thrilling solo victory into Ninove.
The powerful Belgian all-rounder attacked from the peloton on the Muur van Geraardsbergen, bridging across to Arlenis Sierra (Movistar Team). The two riders worked together until just before the Bosberg where Kopecky left Sierra behind and continued solo.
In the headwind towards the finish, the peloton was chasing hard, but Kopecky stayed away to win the first Belgian classic of the new season.
Kopecky‘s new teammate Lorena Wiebes beat Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) in the sprint for second place, completing a Team SD Worx 1-2.
“I had a really good feeling during the race, also on the climbs, I really felt strong. It wasn’t really the intention to go on the Muur, but I started with my pace, and nobody could follow, and then I could not hesitate anymore and just tried to go,” Kopecky described her attack after the race.
Until now, Kopecky had been her team’s protected sprinter in the classics, but the addition of Wiebes changed the team dynamics.
“I actually never did a solo myself, so it was hard for me to know how it feels and to pace it. But I think I did well. Of course, this year, we have Lorena Wiebes on the team, she’s the fastest sprinter in the peloton,” Kopecky said.
“I am fast at the finish, but I’m not a top sprinter. For me, it was a sign to try to become a different…
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