19 May 2023 is a historic day for Team SD Worx. In less than an hour’s difference, the Dutch WorldTeam won two races in a row. Inspired by the sprint success of her teammates in Spain, Lotte Kopecky sprinted convincingly to victory in Veenendaal-Veenendaal (1.1). For the 27-year-old Belgian, it was her first race since the Amstel Gold Race. “It’s a nice entry. Immediate success in the second part of the season. It’s extra nice to win another sprint. This is good for confidence.”
In Veenendaal-Veenendaal, there were three breakaway riders. In the peloton, Team DSM was in control. “On the penultimate lap we tried to take advantage of the wind, but it just didn’t blow hard enough to create echelons. Actually, we knew in advance that it would end in a bunch sprint,” says Lotte Kopecky. “Mischa Bredewold, Lonneke Uneken and Barbara Guarischi provided the perfect lead-out, after which it was up to me to finish it off.”
Exactly one year after her last sprint victory at Vuelta a Burgos, Lotte Kopecky was again the fastest of the pack. “In our team we have the fastest of the bunch with Lorena Wiebes and I won mostly solo lately. So sprinting for the win was a long time ago and that makes it just that little bit harder. To win, everything has to be perfect. In the past I didn’t trust my teammates enough in sprints. So I imprinted on myself that I just had to trust them 200%. I had Barbara Guarischi as the last pawn in front of me. I knew I had to stay calm and just follow her. It did boost my confidence that I was able to finish and eventually won the bunch sprint with a wheel lead.”
Veenendaal-Veenendaal thus marks a successful start to the second part of her season for Kopecky. It also became her fourth win this year after wins in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Nokere-Koerse and Ronde van Vlaanderen. “On the one hand, that gives confidence, but on the other hand, I also started last year immediately with a sprint victory in Vuelta a Burgos, after which the second part of the season was otherwise not top. So I remain calm under it. It’s a nice start this way, though.”
Lotte Kopecky will next be in action in Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour (23-28 May), Duracell Dwars door het Hageland (10 June), Lotto Belgium Tour (14-18 June) and the Belgian time trial championships (22 June) and road race (25 June).