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Lotte Kopecky wins third consecutive women's Belgian time trial title

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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) on her way to winning a third time trial title at the Belgian Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) on her way to winning a third time trial title at the Belgian Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) on her way to winning a third time trial title at the Belgian Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Julie De Wilde of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Julie De Wilde (Plantur-Pura) takes third place (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Julie Van De Velde of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Julie Van De Velde (Jumbo-Visma Women Team) finishes second (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 Jesse Vandenbulcke of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Jesse Vandenbulcke (Lotto Soudal) in fifth (Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 AnnSophie Duyck of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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INGELMUNSTER BELGIUM JUNE 16 AnnSophie Duyck of Belgium during the 122th Belgian Road Championship 2021 Womens Individual Time Trial a 249km race from Ingelmunster to Ingelmunster ITT bkingelmunster belgiancycling on June 16 2021 in Ingelmunster Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ann-Sophie Duyck finishes fourth place (Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing 0:34:01
2Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:00:14
3Julie De Wilde (Bel) Plantur-Pura 0:00:18
4Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team 0:00:34
5Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:00:46
6Alana Castrique (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:01:03
7Shari Bossuyt (Bel) NXTG Racing 0:01:14
8Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing 0:01:20
9Lotte Claes (Bel) 0:01:40
10Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing 0:01:49
11Sara Van De Vel (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
12Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
13Fauve Bastiaanenssen (Bel) 0:01:58
14Julie Sap (Bel) 0:02:02
15Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team 0:02:23
16Mieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:02:27
17Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) 0:02:32
18Fiona Mertens (Bel) 0:02:34
19Amber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:02:37
20Elena Debouck (Bel) 0:02:49
21Eefje Brandt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team 0:02:54
22 Lensy Debboudt (Bel) 0:02:56
23Febe Schokkaaert (Bel) 0:03:04
24Isabelle Beckers (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants 0:03:17
25Lien Lanssens (Bel) 0:03:31
26Mieke Leeman (Bel) 0:03:40
27Brenda Goessens (Bel) 0:03:53
28Jana Dobbelaere (Bel) 0:03:58
29Cato Cassiers (Bel) 0:04:01
30Katie Van Geyte (Bel) 0:04:08
31Margot Bourguignon (Bel) 0:04:29
32Jasmien De Boeck (Bel) 0:04:33
33Paquita Derie (Bel) 0:04:34
34Esmee Gielkens (Bel) 0:04:38
35Amber Lacompte (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants 0:04:42
36Nele De Vos (Bel) 0:04:46
37Julie Debock (Bel) 0:04:56
38Laura Charlier (Bel) 0:05:02
39Sarah Ten Hartog (Bel) 0:05:09
40Lotte Popelier (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:05:12
41Britt Verbeek (Bel) 0:05:40
42Ellen Feytens (Bel) 0:06:11
43Charlotte Pennynck (Bel) 0:06:39
44Nicky Apers (Bel)
45Carolien Haers (Bel) 0:07:25

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