Team SD Worx at the world championships à Wollongong

Team SD Worx at the world championships à Wollongong

Kopecky sees herself as an outsider


On Saturday 24 September 2022, Wollongong, Australia, will host the women's elite road world championships. Team SD Worx is well represented. "I am very happy with this tough course, but see myself as an outsider," says Lotte Kopecky (Belgium).

Linked race Wereldkampioenschap individuele tijdrit Wollongong - Linked cyclists Lotte Kopecky Demi Vollering Elena Cecchini Niamh Fisher-Black Marlen Reusser Anna Shackley

The World Cycling Championships will take place in Wollongong, Australia, on Saturday 24 September. The race starts at 12.25 pm local time and the finish is scheduled for 5pm. In Europe that's 4.25-9 am (CEST).

Team SD Worx is well represented with the following seven riders who will represent their country:

  • Demi Vollering (Netherlands)
  • Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)
  • Elena Cecchini (Italy)
  • Marlen Reusser (Switzerland)
  • Niamh Fisher-Black (New Zealand)
  • Anna Shackley (Great Britain)
  • Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa)

The course consists of two loops. First, it heads towards Mount Keira, which immediately threatens to tear the peloton apart. Next awaits the local circuit around Wollongong City, which must be completed six times. There are 2,433 altimeters in total. "It's a very tough course, I'm happy with that", says Lotte Kopecky. "If you want to drop fast riders like Marianne Vos or Elisa Balsamo somewhere, the course has to be tough enough. Personally, I cannot compare it to any other race, also because I have never ridden the Walloon classics."

"The distance will also play a role", says the Belgian. "We can certainly handle it - the Tour of Flanders is only five kilometres shorter - but the combination of the long distance and the many altimeters will make it very difficult. My own chances will depend on the form of the day, but I can be healthily ambitious. The strongest block in my eyes is Italy and the top favourite for me is Elisa Longo Borghini."

Marlen Reusser is living on a cloud after her bronze medal in the individual time trial and the world title with Switzerland in the mixed relay TTT. Reusser: "This was a great week anyway. The legs feel good. The mixed relay TTT had been one of our big goals since last year, the fact that we were able to achieve this gives a huge boost for what is still to come."

For the Netherlands, on paper Annemiek van Vleuten (if sufficiently recovered from her fall in the mixed relay) and Marianne Vos are the spearheads. Demi Vollering will normally be played out in a serving role. "Marianne and Annemiek were very strong this season. So I will help where I can. Whether I wouldn't have liked to have gone my own way? I still have to wait. I'm still young and my years are still to come! I am already looking forward to the race. We are here with a very strong block and it is a tough course. It will be a nice world championship."

For Italy, Elena Cecchini will do the work for Elisa Longo Borghini and Elisa Balsamo. With also Anna Shackley (Great-Britain), Niamh Fisher-Black (New-Zealand) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South-Africa), Team SD Worx will be strongly represented this Saturday.

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