Team SD Worx had a dream start in the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift yesterday July 23rd. The Dutch WorldTeam immediately made the most of its strength in width in the first stage. On the Côte de Durtol at 9.4 kilometres from the finish, Lotte Kopecky put in a scorching acceleration, to which nobody had an answer. The Belgian then powered on solo to victory, claiming the accompanying yellow jersey, before the team’s Lorena Wiebes also sprinted to second place.
“This solo had been in my head for weeks,” Kopecky said after the podium. “Every day I sent a message to my best friend: ten more kilometres to yellow. I’m happy I was able to realise it.”
That the Côte de Durtol would be decisive was written in the stars. Team SD Worx grabbed the initiative and Marlen Reusser imposed a high pace. Lotte Kopecky accelerated and then went solo in the last 9.4 kilometres in search of victory and the coveted yellow jersey. “I felt there was still something in my legs. I attacked and expected someone else to follow, but there was no one in my wheel. Still, I kept going, because the next few kilometres were mostly downhill. When most of the acidification from the uphill demarrage was gone, I realised they would find it hard to catch me back.”
In the chasing group, perfect stalling work was done by Demi Vollering. However, the Belgian champion managed to stay well out of sight of the first group with a steady pace. At the finish line, she had plenty of time to enjoy her victory. “I had been thinking about this scenario for weeks. Then to realise it effectively… I am very happy with this.”
A mere 41 seconds after Lotte Kopecky triumphed, Lorena Wiebes completed the party for Team SD Worx by winning the sprint for second place. “We finished first and second again. This is just great. And tomorrow I will ride in yellow. That will be special,” concluded Kopecky.
“This was the dream scenario,” confirmed sports manager Danny Stam. “We knew the Côte de Durtol would be tricky and that no big group would be left at the front. Beforehand, we had two plans ready, sprinting with Lorena Wiebes and attacking with Lotte Kopecky. It runs even better as we finished first and second. That makes it extra nice. This is a dream start in the Tour de France Femmes.”