Forward of the 2023 season, the switch of Lorena Wiebes from Workforce DSM to SD Worx had been a lot mentioned.
How would the transfer impression the probabilities of Lotte Kopecky, who had been the workforce’s designated sprinter till now? Would possibly the workforce that always had unfold itself skinny with many leaders and never sufficient help riders have gone a step too far – or would this make a squad that was already a superteam just about invincible?
By taking first and second place within the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the normal season opener for the classics marketing campaign, the workforce have given their super-domestique Christine Majerues a particular birthday current and silenced their critics for now.
From a peloton that was chasing lone attacker, Movistar’s Arlenis Sierra, Kopecky attacked on the well-known Muur van Geraardsbergen, bridging to the Cuban and dropping her on the Bosberg to solo to victory.
“This was sort of the plan, it is a dream that it turned out like this. I had seen on our coaching camp that Lotte was tremendous robust. She was so robust uphill and received a coaching race in our workforce. For me, it is no shock,” Demi Vollering defined how the workforce’s race plan got here true.
On nearly some other workforce, Vollering can be the undisputed chief; at SD Worx, she had one thing of a super-domestique position within the Omloop.
“She stated yesterday within the workforce briefing: ‘I’ve confidence within the Bosberg’. When Lotte says one thing like that, it’s going to come true. She stated that final yr within the Strade Bianche and the Ronde van Vlaanderen [and won both races – Ed.] – then that she will do it,” Vollering continued.
As Kopecky was soloing in direction of the end, her teammates ran interference within the chase behind, secure within the information that ought to the race come again collectively, that they had the strongest sprinter in Lorena Wiebes.
In her attribute, quiet however serene type, Wiebes was happy with the outcome.
“It is a excellent begin to the classics. I noticed that Lotte acquired over the hills simply, how robust she was and that she ought to get her likelihood. What she did was excellent,” Wiebes stated earlier than turning to Sunday’s Omloop van het Hageland the place she is going to go for a dash victory herself.
The European champion greater than held her personal within the race, being within the first chase group of ten over the Muur and within the wheel of Movistar’s Liane Lippert on the Bosberg.
With a quick finisher like Kopecky in a position to assault, the quickest sprinter of the ladies’s peloton discovering her classics resilience, plus a large number of different playing cards to play, rival groups could also be caught between a rock and a tough place.
Race winner Kopecky was in a lot demand by the native media after the race as the primary Belgian girl to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
“I did not know this earlier than yesterday. Nevertheless it’s good to have it on my palmarès,” she stated of this milestone.
The win additionally introduced the 27-year-old one other reward: A Belgian TV producer had promised her a portion of bitterballen, a preferred Lowlands snack of fried meatballs, if she received the Omloop.
Within the occasion, Kopecky obtained a cone of correct Belgian fries that she ate within the TV studio whereas answering questions on her low season weight lack of greater than 3kg.
“It isn’t that I used to be too heavy, however there was nonetheless room for enchancment. I did not lower every thing from my weight-reduction plan,” she stated – evidenced by the post-race fries. “However as I become older, shedding weight will get a bit simpler, and it was clearly the precise alternative,” she stated.
“Lorena was actually robust. We’re in fine condition for the spring and might help one another effectively. We’ve a superb connection inside the workforce. Typically it’s a give and take,” Kopecky continued.
With races such because the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche, and the Tour of Flanders now on her palmarès, the Belgian is wanting ahead to 1 spring Traditional particularly.
“Paris-Roubaix has been on my thoughts for a while,” she hinted at a problem for the well-known pavé trophy.
In 2022, Kopecky completed second within the dash of a small group behind solo winner Elisa Longo Borghini – however the 2023 Kopecky simply confirmed that she will go for a solo herself, too.