Lotte Kopecky wins the first race of the season!
Third place for new teammate Thi That Nguyen!
Lotte Kopecky has ridden her first two road races of the season after an elbow injury forced her to skip the spring races. At Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik Lotte crossed the finish line as 55th, past Sunday she got seventh at Dwars door de Westhoek.
Lotte Kopecky: “I didn’t have a good feeling during Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik. When riders attacked on the Muur van Geraardsbergen I was unable to follow. After the race I was disappointed at first. I had thought I would be able to follow thanks to the trainings I had done, but that wasn’t the case. Although I had kept in mind that it could be difficult after all that time without competition, and it turned out to be so. A week later, at Dwars door de Westhoek, I already felt much better. Apparently I had to adjust to the race rhythm.”
“At Dwars door de Westhoek, we needed to do three ascents of the Rodeberg. That isn’t a tough climb as such, but after the top the pace is always raised which can cause the peloton to split. After the last ascent of the Rodeberg I got in a front group of about thirty riders, together with Demi de Jong and Julie Van De Velde. Demi took me to the front for the sprint at the end. There was a lot of pushing because everyone wanted to ride on the small piece of road next to the cobbles. I got too early in the wind, which was a headwind. I did go full, but I lost speed. Afterwards I was satisfied, because I had had a much better feeling during the race than the week before.”
It was the first time ever that I did an altitude training camp.
Lotte chose to go to Colorado for an altitude training camp to prepare for her return to competition. One of the upcoming races is of course the road race of the Belgian Championships on Sunday 24 June. The past four editions Lotte got second each time.
Lotte Kopecky: “It turned out to be a wise choice to take rest after I had incurred my elbow injury. I needed that rest, both physically and mentally. I had planned a break anyway, because of the injury that break just began earlier. The rest did me good. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t ride the spring races, but I’m sure this rest will have positive effects in the near and far future. Of course I have closely followed the performances of the team and I am happy they did well.”
“In the second half of April I travelled to the US. First, for a holiday to visit among other Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Afterwards, I headed to Colorado for an altitude training camp of three weeks. This was the first time ever that I did an altitude training camp. I had hardly any problems with staying on altitude. Now we have to see what the effect will be on my body and my performances.”
“I’m really eager to race, but I won’t rush anything. The Belgian Championships are coming, but I am pretty relaxed. At the beginning of the season, I did mark that day in red of course, but I won’t put any pressure on myself because that doesn’t help. The course should suit me, but with among other Valerie Demey, Annelies Dom and Kelly Van den Steen we have several cards to play.”