Lotte Kopecky of SD Worx has further embellished her impressive list of accomplishments by clinching the inaugural stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in Clermont-Ferrand. Her triumphant solo sprint on the final uphill stretch of the stage was a testament to her strength.
She masterfully broke away just prior to the Côte de Durtol, with 9.6 km left, and didn’t look over her shoulder again.
Her colleague and race favourite, Demi Vollering, expertly disrupted the chasing group, as the peloton crumbled. This allowed Kopecky to effortlessly secure the first maillot jaune of the competition.
Kopecky expressed her anticipation about donning the yellow jersey on Monday, saying, “It will be something very special and I really look forward to it.”
Reflecting on her long-standing goal, she shared, “It was something that was on my mind already quite a long time,“ and added, “I was joking with my best friends, every day we texted each other saying ’10 kilometres till yellow’.”
She was awestruck at her achievement and said, “It’s amazing that I can also just do it – this final climb, I had the feeling I had something left and I just went. I thought probably someone would follow but nobody could follow. Once I was over the top, I knew it was mostly downhill and thought if I could just keep my power, they could not catch me back.“
Additionally, the twice victorious competitor of the Tour of Flanders took home the points jersey and the polka dot climber’s jersey.
SD Worx teammates celebrated a 1-2 victory on the stage, with Lorena Wiebes securing the sprint from the trailing group. Marianne Vos from Jumbo-Visma, last year’s points classification winner, finished a close fourth.
Reflecting on the team’s approach, Kopecky said, “We had two strategies because we had Lorena – if she could get over the climb, we would go for Lorena in the bunch sprint. But I also had my chance to go and they gave me this chance – I’m happy for the team SD Worx that I could finish it off.“
This season, Kopecky and Wiebes have combined for an SD Worx 1-2 on four occasions, with Vollering contributing to three more. Even for Kopecky, the team’s dominance has been remarkable.
Amused, she noted, “In the team, we are really laughing about it – we don’t understand it ourselves so many races we are 1 and 2. This year, we have a super strong and super good team together. It’s super nice to race like this.“
Stage 1 results
- Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) – 03:04:09
- Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) – 03:04:50 +41
- Charlotte Kool (Team DSM-Firmenich) – 03:04:50 +41
- Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) – 03:04:50 +41
- Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step) – 03:04:52 +43
- Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) – 03:04:52 +43
- Tamara Dronova (Israel-Premier Tech Roland) – 03:04:52 +43
- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-SUEZ) – 03:04:52 +43
- Mavi Garcia (Liv Racing TeqFind) – 03:04:52 +43
- Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) – 03:04:52 +43