Lotte Kopecky has won the Tour of Flanders for the second year in a row. Demi Vollering completed the success for Team SD Worx by sprinting to second place behind her teammate. “Winning the Tour of Flanders this way is very special,” Kopecky said afterwards.
The 27-year-old SD Worx rider rode on the attack for 45 kilometres, of which she finished the last 18 kilometres solo after a great attack on the Oude Kwaremont where she left her fellow breakaway rider Silvia Persico (UAE) behind. In doing so, Kopecky also made history: she became the second rider after Mirjam Melchers in 2005 and 2006 to win Vlaanderens Mooiste two years in a row.
The Koppenberg was the breaking point in the race. Liane Lippert (Movistar) skidded and had to put her foot down, so the race broke wide open. Only Marlen Reusser and Persico were able to stay upright and rode away. Kopecky had to put a foot on the ground for a moment, but she was soon able to pull herself back up. Together with teammate Lorena Wiebes, she rode to Reusser and Persico. At that point, Team SD Worx was in the lead with three riders.
After the Kruisberg, only Kopecky and Persico remained, after which last year’s winner on the Oude Kwaremont began her hunt for victory. Demi Vollering then won the sprint of seven riders for second place, while Marlen Reusser finished seventh.
Kopecky said, “As a team, we had designated the Koppenberg to be at the front. We knew from the reconnaissance that it was wet and slippery. If someone then sets foot on the track, the rest behind you have to do the same. I didn’t panic. I had to put my foot down for a moment, but was soon able to jump back on the bike.”
After accelerating on the Kruisberg and Oude Kwaremont, Kopecky found herself alone in front. “With Persico, I went towards the Oude Kwaremont. With her you don’t want to go to the finish. I knew I had to release her uphill. Arriving solo afterwards is special. You can enjoy it longer. Especially with all that crowd. It was incredible how much encouragement I got. That definitely motivates you. The fact that we became one and two again with the team (for the fifth time this season) makes this edition even more special,” Kopecky concluded with a smile.