Belgian superstar Lotte Kopecky has unveiled the broad brush strokes of her upcoming 2024 campaign, with an Olympic track medal and a crack at Paris-Roubaix two key aims.
Paris-Roubaix was one of the few races that eluded Kopecky in 2023. The SD Worx rider finished seventh where the combination of a large early break staying away and a bad crash badly limited her options of going for the victory.
However, after a year in which the UCI Road World Championships, second overall in the Tour de France after an opening stage victory and a prolonged spell in the lead, not to mention another win in the Tour of Flanders were just three of the big highlights, Kopecky’s season can only be described as stunningly successful.
“Of course it is in my mind to win the Games, but I know how difficult it is to win even a normal race,” she said. “I dream of a medal. I really hope my training goes as well as possible [because] if it goes perfectly, you will normally be in your best shape at the Games.”
“After that, things are not so easy to control, it all depends on the race.”
Kopecky said that when planning her season, it had not escaped her notice that while the Olympic road race is more than a week distant from the Tour de France Femmes start, the Omnium and the Grand Départ were only separated by 24 hours.
But she made it very clear that her track goals were not going to be sacrificed as a result.
“I was busy making some plans last week and I noticed that too,” she told Sporza.
“I don’t know how to do that. We will soon find out with the team and the federation and we will have to find a compromise. Not doing the Olympic omnium will not be an option.”
On top of her summer goals, the 27-year-old said that the Spring Classics were not going to disappear from her aims, with a win in Paris-Roubaix “high on the wish list.”
And while arguing that in terms of her age and experience, she is currently at the top of her game, Kopecky also recognised that improving as a racer was a process that never really stopped.
“It is also often about the mental side. That is sometimes, especially for me, slightly more important than purely the physical side,” she said.
“I may have to make some decisions about which path I want to take. But at the moment, I don’t want to change anything right now.”