Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) prolonged her Belgian time trial title in Ingelmunster. The 25-year-old won the 25km event with a comfortable advantage over Julie Van de Velde (Jumbo-Visma) and Julie De Wilde (Plantur-Pura).
It’s the third consecutive time trial title for Kopecky. Last year, in August, she won in Koksijde and the year before in Middelkerke. Kopecky is also the defending Belgian champion on the road, a title she’ll attempt to defend on Sunday.
Kopecky never rode in the tricolor jersey this year, only riding a team time trial at the Giro Rosa. This year, she’ll get a new chance to show the jersey at the races. “The time trial title is different compared to the one on the road. I enjoyed racing in the tricolor jersey a lot. I was really proud to wear the jersey. The time trial title is something to be proud of, too,” Kopecky told Sporza.
Julie Steen set the best time before the top guns kicked off. Last year’s third placed Julie Van de Velde recently returned from altitude training camp and she rode a strong race. Halfway, she had the best time and at the finish she narrowly beat the time of 18-year-old De Wilde by three seconds, taking over her spot in the hot seat.
With only two riders left out on the course the tension was rising in Ingelmunster. At the midway point Julie Van de Velde was still slightly ahead of Kopecky.
“It wasn’t an easy course with lots of twists and turns. I struggled to get into the rhythm. I tried to adapt my race plan to that. Also the heat made it a challenging ride. I tried to ride conservative and then look at the split times. After the opening lap I was even a little bit behind Julie,” Kopecky said.
Kopecky kept the pace high but then spotted last year’s runner-up Sara Van de Vel much earlier than expected. Triathlete Sara Van de Vel, slipped away on one of the corners in the town centre and by the time she got back on the bike Kopecky was coming up.
Kopecky blasted by a disillusioned Van de Vel and powered on towards the finish. On the line she beat the time of Julie Van de Velde by 14 seconds although she wasn’t aware of the time difference.
“I know that I’ve won but I haven’t got a clue about the margin,” Kopecky told Sporza. “I had something left for the second half of the race. It still hurts though but I know that I’m not likely going to slow down. Then you’ve got to hope that Julie is struggling more.”
Five riders finished within a minute of winner Kopecky. Five-fold Belgian champion Ann-Sophie Duyck finished fourth at 34 seconds from Kopecky. Jesse Vandenbulcke (Lotto Soudal) was fifth at 46 seconds from the winner.
In a few days time there’s the road race which is probably more difficult to win for Kopecky. “It’s the goal to go for the double but it will not be easy. Last year’s scenario would be ideal for me because it would make the race less nervous. It’ll be a long and nervous day so we’ll have to be on the top of our toes,” Kopecky said.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing||0:34:01|
|2||Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Jumbo-Visma Women Team||0:00:14|
|3||Julie De Wilde (Bel) Plantur-Pura||0:00:18|
|4||Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team||0:00:34|
|5||Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||0:00:46|
|6||Alana Castrique (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||0:01:03|
|7||Shari Bossuyt (Bel) NXTG Racing||0:01:14|
|8||Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing||0:01:20|
|9||Lotte Claes (Bel)||0:01:40|
|10||Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing||0:01:49|
|11||Sara Van De Vel (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants|
|12||Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team|
|13||Fauve Bastiaanenssen (Bel)||0:01:58|
|14||Julie Sap (Bel)||0:02:02|
|15||Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team||0:02:23|
|16||Mieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team||0:02:27|
|17||Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel)||0:02:32|
|18||Fiona Mertens (Bel)||0:02:34|
|19||Amber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team||0:02:37|
|20||Elena Debouck (Bel)||0:02:49|
|21||Eefje Brandt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team||0:02:54|
|22||Lensy Debboudt (Bel)||0:02:56|
|23||Febe Schokkaaert (Bel)||0:03:04|
|24||Isabelle Beckers (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants||0:03:17|
|25||Lien Lanssens (Bel)||0:03:31|
|26||Mieke Leeman (Bel)||0:03:40|
|27||Brenda Goessens (Bel)||0:03:53|
|28||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)||0:03:58|
|29||Cato Cassiers (Bel)||0:04:01|
|30||Katie Van Geyte (Bel)||0:04:08|
|31||Margot Bourguignon (Bel)||0:04:29|
|32||Jasmien De Boeck (Bel)||0:04:33|
|33||Paquita Derie (Bel)||0:04:34|
|34||Esmee Gielkens (Bel)||0:04:38|
|35||Amber Lacompte (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants||0:04:42|
|36||Nele De Vos (Bel)||0:04:46|
|37||Julie Debock (Bel)||0:04:56|
|38||Laura Charlier (Bel)||0:05:02|
|39||Sarah Ten Hartog (Bel)||0:05:09|
|40||Lotte Popelier (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team||0:05:12|
|41||Britt Verbeek (Bel)||0:05:40|
|42||Ellen Feytens (Bel)||0:06:11|
|43||Charlotte Pennynck (Bel)||0:06:39|
|44||Nicky Apers (Bel)|
|45||Carolien Haers (Bel)||0:07:25|
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