Home » She does it! Very strong Lotte Kopecky takes care of everyone and wins tough Strade Bianche

She does it! Very strong Lotte Kopecky takes care of everyone and wins tough Strade Bianche

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Lotte Kopecky had announced it in advance: due to the difficult course, it could go either way. Either the race would be opened up very early, or the tough finale would cause doubts, causing everyone to conserve their strength. It would ultimately become that second scenario.

Nervous start

Halfway through the race there was not a crack to be seen, everything was still together. The nervousness gradually started to increase and it became immediately visible. When a group was breaking away, a few ladies in the peloton crashed. Optimal use was made of this. Ten riders formed the break of the day with 50 kilometers to go. Not a single compatriot, but five Dutch ladies, including Kopecky’s teammate Mischa Bredewold. But former winner Lizzy Deignan and the promising Neve Bradbury also joined in, meaning something had to be done in the peloton.

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Kopecky continues, exit Bredewold

But former winner Lizzy Deignan and the promising Neve Bradbury also joined in, meaning something had to be done in the peloton. While the SD Worx ladies in the elite group were chasing the leading group, Kopecky’s team lost a pawn at the front. Bredewold steered a little too deep in a bend and fell on his shoulder. She immediately grabbed the collarbone, if that’s not too bad. In any case, her course was over. In any case, the fall caused caution at the front, so that the elite group with Kopecky and co arrived. They were left with three riders at the front, with the peloton following half a minute later.

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Regrouping

In the meantime, Kopecky and Vollering were in full consultation, the world champion gave her teammate a pat on the back. Has it already been decided what would happen to avoid a scenario like last year? In the meantime, Lidl-Trek – with four riders in the elite group – put itself at the head of the pack. Thanks to their pounding, the peloton crashed onto the Montechario towards the three leaders. A regrouping was a fact.

With about twenty of them they started on the penultimate gravel section of the day. Although that number decreased quite quickly. Vollering took the lead, pulling the elite group into a tie. One by one, riders had to drop out. Twice Vollering tried to slip away with Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma, among others, but twice the rest returned. On the last gravel strip of the day, about ten riders were left at the front. The final started!

Kopecky goes!

Marianne Vos cracked on the very last stretch: Vollering, Niewiadoma, Kopecky, Longo Borghini and Van Anrooij were the five riders who all survived and entered the last ten kilometers. Although the latter had to be removed immediately. Things were tough at the front…

Lotte Kopecky gradually had enough and jumped away out of nowhere, only Longo Borghini could follow. The world champion played poker and got into the wheel, knowing that teammate Vollering was also following. But the gap grew: the winner was in the duo at the front. In the meantime, Vollering kept his feet still in the Niewiadoma wheel: they at SD Worx have learned from last year.

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Fireworks!

The two birds were in the lead: the numbers two and three from the Omloop het Nieuwsblad would decide who would win her second Strade Bianche: Longo Borghini or Kopecky? For the third time in a row, Kopecky and one other rider were put under the red rag.

Longo Borghini did everything he could, but there was no limit to Kopecky. With 500 meters to go she completely knocked the Italian out of the wheel and went solo to the finish. The world champion deservedly threw her arms in the air for her second Strade Bianche. Longo Borghini finished second, title defender Demi Vollering did what she had to do and came third.

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