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Despite 14 Wins This Year, 27-Year-Old Belgian Cyclist Had to Settle for Bronze at the Season Closer

Published 09/25/2023, 2:01 PM EDT

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Lotte Kopecky, the 27-year-old Belgian sensation of 2023, enjoyed a rollercoaster of success this season. She was on a remarkable journey towards cycling stardom, with 14 impressive wins under her belt. Her prestigious victory at the Tour of Flanders and the World Championships marked her name in road races. However, after these exhilarating triumphs, the sensational cyclist witnessed an unfortunate outcome. 

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While participating at Saturday’s UEC Road European Championships, the cyclist raced on the challenging Col du VAM. Unexpectedly, she had to settle for much less than her expectations after facing severe hurdles in the championship. Despite her incredible season, the Dutch’s undeniable strength made it a formidable challenge for Kopecky’s team to secure the top spot.

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The 129.6km race portrayed a tough game as it tested the endurance of every rider. Soon, Kopecky found herself chasing the solo breakaway by Mischa Bredewold. Acknowledging the need for the moment, she decided to adopt a strategic approach. “I chose to do as little as possible, save my legs, and gamble on my sprint in the hope that everything would still come together,” Kopecky revealed. 

With Dutch riders Mischa Bredewold and Lorena Wiebes giving her unparalleled competition, Lotte read the scene. She described the situation candidly, sharing, “I looked around and saw that there were three Dutch women riding around me. Then I knew enough.” Hoping that the peloton might catch up, Kopecky kept up her athletic spirit and continued battling her way to the top. But it seems that the miracle was not meant to be, as the Dutch team played their cards perfectly.


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Cyclist reflects on losing the first spot


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Kopecky’s teammates did their best, remaining vigilant throughout the race. Yet, it was a relentless effort from the Dutch riders that led to her loss. Reportedly, Mischa Bredewold claimed the victory after winning with a remarkable 10km solo breakaway. With a 1-2-3 finish for the SD Worx team, Kopecky managed to secure the bronze. She missed out on the silver to Lorena Wiebes in a narrow frame. 

The SD Worx team’s dominance with 62 wins this year is noteworthy, but Lotte reminded how such a level of domination may not be the standard every year. As the 2023 cycling season comes to an end, Kopecky’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Despite her dazzling success this season, the cyclist shared her humble thoughts, saying, “Just because I’m at the start somewhere these days doesn’t mean I win.”


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With her remarkable 2023 season and a 28th podium finish, Lotte Kopecky recognizes the exceptional nature of her achievements. Her bronze medal at the UEC Road European Championships proves her resilience and determination. In the face of formidable races, Kopecky left an indelible mark on the cycling world this year. 

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Written by:

Sanchari Bhaduri


One take at a time

Sanchari Bhaduri is a fresh Sports Viral Moments writer at EssentiallySports. Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from IGNOU, she embarked on her content creation career in 2015 with freelance projects. Her previous role involved her serving as a Content Manager for Reddit.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla