Team SD Worx rules in Strade Bianche with a win for Demi Vollering and second place Lotte Kopecky

Team SD Worx rules in Strade Bianche with a win for Demi Vollering and second place Lotte Kopecky

"A dream day in Tuscany"


Together, Demi Vollering and Lotte Kopecky climbed the Via Santa Catarina in Siena and the battle was decided in a millimetre sprint between the two teammates on the Piazzo del Campo. The jury had to study the finish photo for minutes before Vollering was declared the winner. "Beforehand, you don't dare predict such a scenario. That's why there were no agreements. They sprinted for the win as mature riders. One and two in Strade Bianche, this is a dream day for the team," said sports manager Danny Stam.

Linked race Strade Bianche - Linked cyclists Lotte Kopecky Demi Vollering - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Anna van der Breggen Danny Stam

Team SD Worx has ruled the Strade Bianche in recent years. No fewer than five times, the team had already won the Italian gravel race (2015, 2016, 2018, 2021 and 2022). With outgoing winner Lotte Kopecky and Demi Vollering, the Dutch team also had two top favourites for this edition. 

Team SD Worx opted for control, where Kristen Faulkner set up a nice breakaway with a lead that increased to 1'45". On the Strada di Colle Pinzuto, Demi Vollering unleashed her devils. "The race plan was executed perfectly. At 18 kilometres from the end, Demi would attack and Lotte Kopecky would control," Danny Stam said. "At the last 'sterrato', we would then evaluate whether Lotte would jump as well. That was necessary to catch Faulkner back."

After which the two teammates climbed the Via Santa Catarina together. "It was exciting until the line," says winner Demi Vollering. "Lotte and I are killers, we always go to the limit and over the limit. We appreciate that about each other. Neither of us knew who had won, so there were some emotions involved. Lotte said to me almost immediately at the finish: Ooh, I'm glad you won. We made it a super nice race and there are no hard feelings between us."

Sports manager Danny Stam thinks it is a non-discussion. "You can never predict that in Strade Bianche you will turn up the last corner as number one and two, so there were no agreements about that. Lotte and Demi are old and wise enough to make up their own minds. They sprinted for it as two winners. Had they not sprinted for the win, there would have been comments too. We rode a fantastic race with the team. This group hangs together well. In the first two spring classics, we finish number one and two twice in a row. We won Omloop van het Hageland and a stage in the UAE Tour. So the results speak for themselves."

Lotte Kopecky: "The favour factor in this team is very big. By the way, I also don't think we should say at a kilometre from the finish that one of the two should win. I think we then both have the right to go for our own chances. Of course it's nice to win ourselves, but in the end the most important thing is that someone from Team SD Worx wins. I am very happy for Demi Vollering that she was able to add this race to her record. You see two happy ladies sitting here. This is the perfect season start for our team."

Danny Stam also agrees. "This is a dream start. We have to enjoy this as long as it lasts. The pressure is off for a while now, but that doesn't mean we are satisfied because we have two big classics in. In cycling, everything starts again week by week. There are still very important races to come."

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