Lotta Henttala scored a sixth place for AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step at Nokere Koerse on Wednesday March 15th. It was her second top-ten in four days after also finishing sixth at the weekend in the Ronde van Drenthe.
The Finnish rider lined up for the 129-kilometre long race around Kruishoutem in East-Flanders, Belgium with Maaike Boogaard, Romy Kasper, Julia Borgström, Maud Rijnbeek and Britt Knaven for her season debut.
While Lotta sprinted to sixth in the peloton, Nokere Koerse was won solo by Lotte Kopecky in an impressive display of physical strength and mental resilience after losing her brother last weekend.
“Another classic done and dusted,” said Lotta after the finish on Nokereberg. “As a team we were strong again in this hard race. In the final Romy and Maaike were with me when there were attacks and a breakaway might happen which it did. In the end Lotte won solo which is really nice after what happened to her brother. For me, Maaike brought me to a great position with one kilometre to go. I was a bit hesitant at that moment. It’s been a few years since I raced, so I do miss that feeling of a sprint a little. Maybe an uphill sprint is also not my strength but it’s a good race in the books for De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem coming up.”
Romy Kasper was the road captain for the race. She was ever present at the front of the peloton controlling moves.
“For me it was a painful race after my crash at Ronde van Drenthe,” Romy admitted. “My ribs are still painful. Because nothing was broken, I did want to give it a try for the team today. Again, we rode well as a team. It was so fast today and we missed the move at Tiegemberg just after the first hour of racing. We worked well together to come back. We tried but we couldn’t follow the Kopecky attack. We ended in sixth which is not the result we were after, but we will be there soon enough, on that podium.”