Lotte Kopecky of SDWorx took the victorious sprint at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, giving the fans the chance to see the colors of the Belgian Champion with her arms raised as she took her greatest career win in Vlaanderens Mooiste. Kopecky outdueled presumptive favorite Annemiek van Vleuten of Movistar and Chantaal Van Den Broeck-Blaak, two former winners, for the victory. Kopecky started her spring at the 150 meter mark from behind her teammate Van Den Broek-Blaak and van Vleuten, moved out to the left, and powered home for the decisive win.
The winning trio got away for good on the Paterberg, after the Oude Kwaremont saw a considerable separation with only Marlen Reusser and Brodie Chapman alone ahead of van Vleuten and Kopecky. Van Vleuten continued to attack on the Paterberg, but couldn’t shake Kopecky or Reusser, with Van Den Broeck-Blaak rejoining them and then splitting the group with a blistering attack at 10km to go, that van Vleuten closed down with Kopecky just hanging on to her wheel.
SDWorx showed their power and experience in putting van Vleuten on the defensive in the run-in to Oudenaarde as well as the sprint. Van Vleuten can do it all, but having a sprinter like Kopecky and a strong attacker like Van Den Broeck-Blaak gave them two perfect cards to play, and play them they did.
- Lotte Kopecky, SD Worx
- Annemiek van Vleuten, Movistar, s.t.
- Chantal Van Den Broeck-Blaak, SD Worx s.t.
- Arlenis Sierra, Movistar
- Marlen Reusser, SD Worx
- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, FDJ
- Grace Brown, FDJ
- Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Canyon-SRAM
- Brodie Chapman, FDJ
- Marta Bastianelli, UAE
Oudenaarde - Oudenaarde 159 km
Toughest course ever for the women with the Koppenberg included for the first time. Should be a very uncertain race with Movi, Sd Worx and Trek as the main rivals.
Expected finish: 17:30 - 18:00 CEST
Kop of the bergs : Annemiek van Vleuten
I have a feeling this will have a very very small field left after Koppenberg and Annemiek might be the strongest one left standing even if the course isn’t really perfect for her.