Lotte Kopecky has done it all so this season. She won the Tour of Flanders for the second year in a row and held the Tour de France maillot jaune for six stages before coming second overall to teammate Demi Vollering.
With her outstanding performance on the ‘hellingen’ of Flanders and the Pyrenees, she’s shown a versatility matched only by compatriot Wout van Aert. As Van Aert did last week, Kopecky heads into Sunday’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships with confidence in her status as favourite.
Kopecky has arguably already bettered Van Aert’s performance by winning two world titles during this week’s Track World Championships in the days before her road race, showing her multiple talents in the Super World Championships.
Kopecky can go into Sunday’s women’s road race with the confidence of having won three medals in a competition schedule arranged to simulate next year’s Paris Olympic Games schedule.
“Physically everything is going really well, going into the road race with two world titles and a bronze medal,” Kopecky told Cyclingnews after collecting her Omnium bronze at the Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow on Wednesday evening.
“That’s a very good feeling to go into the road race. I know I’m the favourite. But I also started this championship on the track – I was actually pretty relaxed – and I also was a favourite here. So in the next few days, I will try to stay calm and not let people make me nervous.”
Kopecky has the advantage of having seen how the men’s road race played out last weekend, when Mathieu van der Poel won alone, despite a late crash, beating Van Aert, Tadej Pogačar and Mads Pedersen.
The technical, punchy road race route in central Glasgow seems as if it was made for a rider who can win a world title in a points race. The repeated high-watt efforts don’t seem to faze Kopecky, and she knows it is a prime opportunity to become world champion.
“I think it will be very, very tough. But yeah, I think it’s something that suits me,” she said.
Kopecky, an accomplished multi-discipline rider who will target both track and road at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, praised the combined Worlds as a way to limit the physical and mental demands of separate championships.
“I like it actually. Now it’s just one peak and I can combine both – otherwise it’s again stretching the season to the second half of October or the end of October and that makes it mentally maybe harder than this now.”