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Lotte Kopecky Claims Victory at Paris-Roubaix: ‘It was exactly as we planned’

By Monica Buck

After an intense competition on the challenging pavé of northern France, the world champion, Lotte Kopecky, emerged victorious at the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, outpacing rivals Elisa Balsamo and Pfeiffer Georgi in a thrilling sprint finish within the iconic Roubaix velodrome.

Following her recent win, Kopecky did not hold back in expressing her gratitude towards her SD Worx team. She highlighted their role in maintaining her composure and focus throughout the race, especially after narrowly missing a win at the Tour of Flanders the previous week. This setback, she noted, only fueled her determination to clinch victory at Paris-Roubaix.

Reflecting on her emotions leading up to the race, Kopecky shared, “I tried to stay as calm as possible today. After Sunday, the feeling was not what I wanted it to be but luckily I have really good friends, and a really good team behind me who really tried to keep me calm and gave me confidence.”

Kopecky’s performance was marked by strategic attacks, particularly across the cobbled sectors, which ultimately led to a sprint finish. She managed to outperform her competitors, including Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Balsamo and Pfeiffer Georgi of dsm–firmenich PostNL, confirming the effectiveness of her and her team’s strategy.

The plan, as Kopecky revealed, was meticulously crafted: “It was exactly as we planned. We wanted to try to stay out of trouble in the first 60 kilometres and be right in front in the first three sectors… Before the first sector that I attacked on, I had Elena Cecchini who tried to position me and I knew I wanted to go there and see what happened.”

Kopecky also acknowledged the team’s advantage of having Lorena Wiebes, a star sprinter, ready to take charge if the race dynamics had changed, indicating a flexible strategy that accounted for various race scenarios.

Her victory was not just a personal achievement but also a demonstration of her track cycling skills, a discipline where she holds multiple world titles. Despite this, Kopecky stated that her track experience was not a significant factor in the sprint, as her competitors also possessed similar backgrounds.

“Before we came on the track it was already a big fight to try and get in position,” Kopecky explained, detailing the tactical aspects of the final sprint. “Of course I knew that Marianne [Vos] and Elisa [Balsamo] would try to fight against each other and on the other side of the track there was a headwind. They had to start the sprint pretty early so I tried to stay calm and start sprinting at the right moment.”

Kopecky’s triumph at Paris-Roubaix Femmes is a testament to her skill, strategy, and the invaluable support of her SD Worx team, underscoring the collective effort behind her successful campaign.

Paris-Roubaix Femmes Avec Zwift Results

1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime, in 3:47:13

2. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Lidl-Trek + 0s

3. Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) dsm-firmenich PostNL + 0s

4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Visma-Lease a Bike + 0s

5. Amber Kraak (Ned) FDJ-Suez + 0s

6. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Lidl-Trek, +6s

7. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime +28s

8. Victoire Berteau (Fra) Cofidis +28s

9. Marie Le Net (Fra) FDJ-Suez +28s

10. Kimberley (Le Court) Pienaar (MUS) AG Insurance-Soudal Team +28s