Lotte Kopecky made it a trifecta of gold medals at the world cycling championships on Sunday.
After winning the points and elimination races (not Olympic program events) during the track portion of the 11-day event, the Belgian standout shook free from a powerhouse breakaway and rode solo to the finish of the women’s road race in Glasgow, Scotland. Kopecky was far enough ahead of Demi Vollering and Cecilie Ludwig that she had time to sit up and celebrate as she crossed the finish line.
“I thought after those two on the track, I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s almost impossible to win again on Sunday,’” Kopecky said, fighting back tears. “Becoming a three-time world champ in just seven days — it’s too crazy for words.”
Vollering was trying to follow in the footsteps of recent Dutch champions Annemiek van Vlueten and Anna van der Breggen. Ludwig lost their heads-up sprint and finished with bronze.
Kopecky, a 27-year-old from Flanders, won stages at the Tour de France Femmes and the Giro Donne and was fourth in the road race at the Tokyo Olympics.
Last year, Kopecky was second to van Vleuten at the world championships, losing in a tight sprint to the finish over the seaside course south of Sydney, Australia.
Now, she will wear the rainbow colors when she heads to the Paris Olympics next summer.“We’re a big cycling nation, but in the women’s part of cycling, Belgium — we always came a little bit behind,” Kopecky said, “but I’m very proud we now showed we’re […]