Lore De Schepper won the GP Chambery in a rather spectacular way on Sunday April 16th. The junior rider of the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step Team produced an impressive solo ride to take the first win of the season for the Team’s youngest squad.
The race in Chambery, France, was a challenging one with lots of hills. Lining up for the race were Lore De Schepper, Laia Bosch Ballús, Ella Heremans, Fee Knaven and Margot Marasco. It was a so-called “open race”, where juniors and elite riders without a professional contract raced together.
“I already attacked in the first lap,” said Lore. “I know Celia Géry and knew I needed to follow her. We were caught again soon. When Noemie Damaus attacked, I followed and the two of us were at the front for the whole race. When the gap was over a minute, I became more and more convinced that we would stay ahead. In the last lap, the other rider didn’t want to take over anymore, which made me a bit unsure. However, I felt I was the strongest. It was a hard race with lots of climbing but that’s how I like it,” Lore smiled.
“It was a hard day in the French Alps,” concluded sports director Christian Kos. “In the junior race, we didn’t really know where our riders stood, In France it’s pretty common to race with elite riders. There were 20 juniors and the rest was older. Our girls showed they have a great level and can really stand their ground in this field.”
Ella finished in sixth place, Margot in seventh, Laia in 11th and Fee in 17th place.
“I must also applaud the work of the other girls in the peloton making sure Lore could stay at the front. They really did a great job. When I went up to chat to Lore, I told her she was stronger and that she should attack on the final climb. And she did. It’s our first win. All our juniors raced a good race.”
In the afternoon, the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step U23 team raced the UCI 1.1 race of 110 kilometres with almost 2,000 metres of elevation. Maureen Arens, Julia Grégoire, Julia Kopecky, Jade Linthoudt and Fien Masure represented the team in France.
“For our U23 riders it’s a seriously hard race with lots of climbing. We don’t have a lot of hilly races so it was a good chance to see how they would do. It turned out to be a really a hard day for our U23 riders,” said Christian Kos. “Maureen and Julia Kopecky managed to stay at the front for the longest time. Julia got dropped a few times uphill but was able to return several times. On the final climb she really fought her way to the top and passed the rest of that group in the descent to finish 19th which is good for an 18-year-old. Maureen and Julia Grégoire also finished the race. It was a good experience for our girls to race against some really good climbers because we don’t often get to do this.”