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Lotte Kopecky claims Strade Bianche win after final kilometre attack

Lotte Kopecky claims Strade Bianche win after final kilometre attack

Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) won the women’s Strade Bianche for the second time in her career, distancing Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) on the steep climb up the Via Santa Caterina on the final kilometre.

10km from the line, Kopecky had attacked from a lead group of five that formed on the final gravel sector, Le Tolfe. Longo Borghini chased after her and quickly made contact, and the two riders traded turns on the way to Siena.

Longo Borghini led onto the final climb, but Kopecky dropped her with an explosive acceleration and could celebrate on the Piazza del Campo. Her teammate Demi Vollering beat Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) in the sprint for third place.

“We were a bit more in control today. 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,” Kopecky said of the team’s performance.

“I didn’t have my best day today. 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,” Kopecky described her experience on the Tuscan roads.

In the end, her legs were there, and she could secure the win with her trademark attack on the Via Santa Caterina.

“You can go early, but I waited a little bit longer. 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,” Kopecky said.

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