Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) is disappointed with a second-place finish at Gent-Wevelgem Women for the second year in a row. The double Belgian Champion lost the sprint to the day's winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) but says she will continue to think positively as she turns her attention to Tour of Flanders next weekend.
"I'm disappointed that I'm second again but I think Marianne had the strongest sprint. I have to think positively and look toward next week," Kopecky said.
Kopecky, who finished second to Jolien D'hoore in last year's edition of Gent-Wevelgem, has displayed strength and versatility in the one-day races this spring with fourth places at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Nokere Koerse, and the Classic Brugge-De Panne, plus a victory at Le Samyn.
Kopecky is a fast sprinter, but not a pure sprinter, and the races of attrition that include cobbles and punchy climbs suit her best. She has the strength to force a breakaway and contest a bunch sprint, and so Gent-Wevelgem offered a promising 141km route for her skillset.
She started with a strong team with Alison Jackson, who crashed mid-race, Jeanne Korevaar, Evy Kuijpers, Sofia Bertizzolo and Soraya Paladin. Kopecky was always up front in the crosswinds and echelons, and in good position on the seven climbs throughout the race, including the Monteberg and Kemmelberg, before the flat 30km run-in to the finish in Wevelgem.
Paladin was involved in a late-race breakaway with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), which played into Kopecky's favour, but she said she didn't have the same speed as Vos in the end, and finished second in the small lead-group sprint.
"I felt good today and we had Soraya Paladin out front, which was a good position for us, at the end," Kopecky said. "It was a spectacular race. There was a little group off the Kemmelberg but some of the top sprinters were dropped; Jolien D'hoore, Kirsten Wild and Lorena Wiebes. Some good names were still there and I wanted to ride for the finish, and get involved. My form is good."
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