Lotte Kopecky & Team SD Worx open classic period in magisterial fashion at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Lotte Kopecky & Team SD Worx open classic period in magisterial fashion at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

"This first ever solo victory is very special"


Lotte Kopecky & Team SD Worx did not miss the start of the classic season. In the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Lotte Kopecky rode impressively up the Muur van Geraardsbergen, before going solo after the Bosberg. After 12 kilometres alone in the lead, she impressively made history by becoming the first Belgian woman ever to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Lorena Wiebes completed the one-two punch by winning the sprint just as dominantly. "This one goes very high on the list," said Lotte Kopecky after her victory. 

Linked race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Linked cyclists Lotte Kopecky Demi Vollering Elena Cecchini Christine Majerus Marlen Reusser Lorena Wiebes - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Lars Boom Danny Stam

Lotte Kopecky: "This victory will be very high on my list"

Lotte Kopecky gloated after she hit the ground running in her first road race of 2023. "It's nice to make history by being the first Belgian woman ever to win the Omloop. I did surprise myself. It wasn't really my intention to attack already on the Muur van Geraardsbergen. I had never ridden such a solo before, so I had to find out for myself what power I could maintain until the finish. I only looked at my power meter when we turned right after the Muur and then I got the confirmation that it was fine. Team SD Worx was on target. With Team SD Worx we decided it was national-pitch-all-in-the-fire day (laughs)."

"The arrival of Lorena Wiebes allows me to race more freely. If I go full on the attack, I know she is still behind to finish it off. Look how she won the sprint today, completing the one-two. I was really impressed with her today. She was super strong on the climbs. We are going to be able to help each other a lot this spring. Within Team SD Worx everyone hangs together well, we are in good shape.  We all know it's give and take in this team."

"It's great to start the classic spring like this. This gives a lot of confidence for what's to come. Also for the Strade Bianche, yes. I'm going there full of confidence. That's no guarantee I'll win, but we'll be at the start with a super strong block."

Lorena Wiebes: "Best way to start the season"

Lorena Wiebes completed the one-two with Lotte Kopecky by sprinting convincingly to second place. "This is the perfect way to start the season. Now it really feels like the cycling year has started. It's special to ride for Team SD Worx. I already felt it at the start line. Because you start with such a strong block, you just ride more relaxed in the peloton. It gives confidence." 

"On the first hill we were unlucky. Demi Vollering crashed, so we were only just back for the Wolvenberg. That meant we didn't start in the best position, but we were still able to move up. Towards Molenberg, Elena Cecchini fell, but we still came through well. Christine Majerus and Elena Cecchini then guided us in perfect position towards the Muur van Geraardsbergen, after which Lotte went and we didn't see her again. I am happy about how I survived the climbs and that I was able to finish the one-two in the sprint. I'm already looking forward to the next races."

Team manager Erwin Janssen: "Perfect opener of the classic period"

"This is the perfect start to the classic spring," says general manager of Team SD Worx Erwin Janssen. "We have a Belgian main sponsor with SD Worx. Then it is wonderful to write history as a team with Lotte Kopecky becoming the first Belgian ever to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. We were ready for it, but a first classic like this is always extra exciting. The way we won today, playing the team game as a team, makes this victory and second place very special. It may be cliché, but the first blow is worth a tenner. When you immediately grab that first chance for an important win, it gives a lot of confidence and boosts the team spirit. So this is very valuable going forward.

"This is a brilliant victory for the history books. It was also very nice to see how happy the Belgian fans were. I am immensely proud. It was the first time that Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering, Lorena Wiebes and Marlen Reusser started together. Elena Cecchini & Christine Majerus provided wonderful work as road captains. The staff also played an important role. When you see what they have done over the past three months to get the team ready, that should be emphasised. There is a certain calmness about this team. This win in the Omloop was a brilliant achievement. We showed what we are capable of this season."

Directeur sportif: "First chance for big win seized immediately"

Sport director Lars Boom praised his team's ability to anticipate. "Our plan was to ride aggressively. Due to circumstances in the race, we did have to adjust the timing of the attack. It is important that we immediately grab the first opportunity for that first big win. When you come to the start with these six riders, everyone expects this from Team SD Worx. But to then live up to it that way... That makes us very satisfied."

"It's always nice when you can take place one and two. Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes are going to have a lot of fun together. It also makes our team stronger because we can play different cards. On to the sequel."

Photos only to be used for editorial non-commercial usage. Mandatory copyright: @GettySport for socials & (c) Getty Images for print.

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