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Kopecky solos to second straight Belgian women's road title

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Lotte Kopecky celebrates after winning the womens elite race at the Belgian cycling championships a 1224km race in Waregem on June 20 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN BELGA AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGAAFP via Getty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) repeats as Belgian champion (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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WAREGEM BELGIUM JUNE 20 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Road Race a 1224km one day race from Waregem to Waregem BELCycling belgiancycling on June 20 2021 in Waregem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) repeats as Belgian champion (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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WAREGEM BELGIUM JUNE 20 Julie Van De Velde of Belgium 2nd place Silver medal Lotte Kopecky of Belgium Gold Medal Belgian Champion Jersey Alana Castrique of Belgium 3rd place Bronze medal celebrates at podium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Road Race a 1224km one day race from Waregem to Waregem BELCycling belgiancycling on June 20 2021 in Waregem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Julie Van De Velde, Lotte Kopecky and Alana Castrique made up the podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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WAREGEM BELGIUM JUNE 20 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium Gold Medal Belgian Champion Jersey celebrates at podium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Road Race a 1224km one day race from Waregem to Waregem BELCycling belgiancycling on June 20 2021 in Waregem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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WAREGEM BELGIUM JUNE 20 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium celebrates at podium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Road Race a 1224km one day race from Waregem to Waregem BELCycling belgiancycling on June 20 2021 in Waregem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing), Belgian champion for 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) prolonged her Belgian title with a solo ride to the victory in Waregem after attacking 8km from the finish.

Julie Van de Velde (Jumbo-Visma) grabbed the silver medal with a late solo effort. Alana Castrique (Lotto Soudal) won the peloton sprint for the bronze medal at 20 seconds behind Kopecky.

Just like last year, Kopecky was able to claim the double at the Belgian National Championships with the victory in the time trial and the road race.

“I hoped for it but it was quite the task to actually do it. I didn’t feel good in the first hours of the race and hoped I would get better. I didn’t mix in with the attacks, realizing that I would have to go all in with a late attack. I timed it well,” Kopecky told Sporza in the post-race interview.

She’s taking over the role of leading lady in Belgian women’s cycling, with Jolien D’hoore soon waving the sport goodbye. Kopecky remained humble, however.

“Well, I’m sure there’s other women doing great things in other disciplines,” Kopecky said.

The race was decided at the Holstraat climb, the backside of the more famous cobbled Nokereberg climb, just under 10km from the finish. A long solo attempt from Ann-Sophie Duyck came to an end when Shari Bossuyt (NXTG) blasted by with only nine riders chasing her down.

“The plan was to set the pace on the first part of the climb up the Holstraat with me going full gas on the second part,” Kopecky said. "I realized that Jolien was very strong. In the final lap the pace was high because Shari Bossuyt was up the road and Jolien had to spend some energy. I saw she was going through a difficult moment. I told myself to keep calm until we reached the top and then go all in."

None of the nine chasers was able to join the move and Kopecky quickly collected a bonus of 13s. A second group of eleven riders bridged up with the chase group but Kopecky kept increasing her lead.

“I didn’t know how far behind they were. With 3km to go I saw the gap was half a minute and then I knew it was in the pocket,” Kopecky said.

When asked why she didn’t bank on her sprint, Kopecky explained she felt that a solo move had a bigger chance of success.

“No, I wasn’t confident that I would win the sprint so I tried to see what the better options were to get the title. It was the best decision.”

Just before the final kilometre, Julie Van de Velde jumped away from the peloton. The 28 year-old rode a strong race but was unable to respond to Kopecky’s move. She did manage to keep the peloton at distance and capture a well-deserved second place.

Castrique won the peloton sprint and was delighted with the resulting third place, lifting her arms in the air. Shari Bossuyt was fourth, Nathalie Bex fifth and Jolien D’hoore concluded her final Belgian championship race on the road with a sixth place.

Young Julie De Wilde was seventh ahead of Marion Norbert-Riberolle, who recently swapped the French nationality for a Belgian passport. Valerie Demey worked hard for Lotte Kopecky in the build-up to the final climb and she still managed to get a top-10 result for herself, finishing just ahead of Kiona Crabbé.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing 3:07:55
2Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:00:14
3Alana Castrique (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:00:19
4Shari Bossuyt (Bel) NXTG Racing
5Nathalie Bex (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
6Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Team SD Worx
7Julie De Wilde (Bel) Plantur-Pura
8Marion Norbert-Riberolle (Bel)
9Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing
10Kiona Crabbé (Bel) Plantur-Pura
11Ellen van Loy (Bel)
12Naomi De Roeck (Bel) LVIV Cycling Team
13Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
14Lien Lanssens (Bel)
15Justine Ghekiere (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
16Sanne Cant (Bel) Plantur-Pura
17Nathalie Verschelden (Bel)
18Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
19Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Plantur-Pura
20Sara Van De Vel (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants 0:00:22
21Kim de Baat (Bel) 0:00:42
22Mieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
23Marthe Truyen (Bel) Plantur-Pura
24Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
25Fien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
26Kelly Druyts (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
27Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel)
28Esmee Gielkens (Bel)
29Fiona Mertens (Bel)
30Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
31Lotte Claes (Bel)
32Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing
33Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)
34Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
35Jinse Peeters (Bel) Plantur-Pura 0:01:15
36Lenny Druyts (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire 0:02:34
37Jade Lenaers (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:03:19
38Elise Vander Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:03:32
39Ellen Feytens (Bel)
40Sandrine Tas (Bel)
41Katrijn de Clercq (Bel)
42Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)
43Laura van Geyt (Bel)
44Fenna Vanhoutte (Bel)
45Justine Vromanne (Bel)
46Gloria Van Mechelen (Bel) LVIV Cycling Team
47Valerie Jenaer (Bel)
48Audrey de Keersmaeker (Bel)
49Isabelle Beckers (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
50Luca de Langhe (Bel)
51Femke van Goethem (Bel)
52Caren Commissaris (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
53Hanna Theys (Bel)
54Demmy Druyts (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
55Julie Brouwers (Bel)
56Sarah Borremans (Bel) LVIV Cycling Team
57Amber Lacompte (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
58Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)
59Alyssa Lurquin (Bel)
60Maxime Roes (Bel)
61Lensy Debboudt (Bel)
62Brenda Goessens (Bel)
63Glacia Dhont (Bel)
64Katie van Geyte (Bel)
65Kelly Decaluwe (Bel)
66Nele van Baelen (Bel)
67Justine Lescrauwaet (Bel)
68Eefje Brandt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
69Kim Knaeps (Bel)
70Maurine Ricour (Bel) 0:03:38
71Dina Scavone (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:03:42
72Laura Verdonschot (Bel)
73Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
74Meg de Bruyne (Bel) 0:04:00
75Lara Defour (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team 0:04:01
76Bonnie Delanote (Bel)
77D' HONDT Silke 0:05:55
78Yasmine de Wulf (Bel) 0:07:09
79Silke Janssens (Bel)
80Shana Maes (Bel)
81Chayenne Vranken (Bel) 0:07:17
82Evy Roelen (Bel)
83Marie Vandecasteele (Bel)
84Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel)
85Allison Zava (Bel)
86Marjolijn Boerjan (Bel)
87Isabel Vandewalle (Bel)
88Sarah ten Hartog (Bel)
89Laura Charlier (Bel)
90Lies de Vleminck (Bel)
91Fleur Vandecaveye (Bel)
92Aiko Uyttenhove (Bel)
93Jasmien de Boeck (Bel)
94Evelien Debboudt (Bel)
95Carolien Haers (Bel)
96Fien De Wispelaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
97Julie Debock (Bel)
98Naika Deneef (Bel) 0:07:22
DNFLoes Sels (Bel)
DNFMarjolein Moreau (Bel)
DNFBritt Verbeek (Bel)
DNFCamille Delestrait (Bel)
DNFElena Debouck (Bel)
DNFLauren Devos (Bel)
DNFDitte Lenseclaes (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFMieke Leeman (Bel)
DNFFanny van Driessche (Bel)
DNFAnka Hermans (Bel)
DNFSteffi Verdickt (Bel)
DNFCharlotte Pennynck (Bel)
DNFMargot Bourguignon (Bel)
DNFNoémi van der Borcht (Bel)
DNFMachalina Dereere (Bel)
DNFAstrid Heggerick (Bel)
DNFFlorelien van de Velde (Bel)
DNFFebe Schokkaert (Bel)
DNFJessy Derder (Bel)
DNFMalou van Hooste (Bel)
DNFTinne Vermeiren (Bel)
DNFTara Gins (Bel)
DNFD´HAUWE Silke
DNFEmily de Cuyper (Bel)
DNFPaquita Derie (Bel)
DNFFauve Bastiaenssen (Bel)
DNFLotte Popelier (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFErin Hoefkens (Bel)
DNFBLONDÉ Stephanie
DNFKato Aerts (Bel)
DNFAn Wellens (Bel)
DNFAnthea Vansteenkiste (Bel)
DNFNicky Apers (Bel)
DNFStephanie Kemps (Bel)
DNFEve Didier (Bel)
DNFMarie Maes (Bel)
DNFFrancine Delain (Bel)
DNFXena van Hecke (Bel)
DNFSophie Brouckaert (Bel)
DNFSandrine Derwaux (Bel)
DNFJoyce Accoe (Bel)
DNFLiliane Leenknegt (Bel)
DNFHerlinde Coudeville (Bel)
DNFTine Rombouts (Bel)
DNFFiebe Vanheule (Bel)
DNFMaelle Michotte (Bel)
DNFAmber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFLiena Vanderheyden (Bel)
DNFAnse Debaere (Bel)
DNFInes Malfait (Bel)
DNFDeisy Schaele (Bel)
DNFPerrine Sadoine (Bel)
DNFAnne-Sophie Lens (Bel)

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