Lotte Kopecky was one of the figures of the past cycling year and she is determined to be strong again next season. Yet the Olympic Games in Paris are already in the back of her mind.
Lotte Kopecky is currently in Belek, Turkey, where she tastes the Olympic atmosphere in the company of many other Belgian top athletes during the annual BOIC training camp.
“As always, it is relaxed here. There are many athletes present and it is nice to get acquainted,” Kopecky tells Sporza. “If the weather permits, I do as many quiet endurance training sessions as possible in the morning. After the afternoon there is time to relax with the team and to rest.”
2022 was a farmer’s year for Kopecky, with a win in the Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders, two world titles and one European title on the track and also the vice world title on the road. What does she expect after such a 2023 season?
The past year motivates me to work super hard again this winter.
“It will be very difficult to match that or to do better,” Kopecky realizes. “It does motivate me to work super hard again this winter and to get the highest possible out of it again next year.”
On a personal level, Kopecky has recently had to deal with a dip. Her relationship with her friend and coach Kieran De Fauw came to an end, but the rider does not expect it to affect her sporting performance. My approach will largely remain the same.
What will be a major change is the arrival of spurt bomb Lorena Wiebes at SD Worx. “I have no problem with that,” says Kopecky. “I look at that in a positive way. When we start together, I will be able to race more offensively and more freely. Because if it comes to a bunch sprint, we have Lorena.”
Paris 2024 in mind
The real preparation for the next season will start for Lotte Kopecky next month, but next week she will already get on a plane for an internship in Calpe, Spain. For now, the focus is on spring.
“Because at the moment I don’t know exactly what my summer will look like. You have the Tour and the World Cup that follows shortly afterwards. We have to take a good look at that with the team,” it sounds.
“I am now focusing mainly on the spring. The European Championship on the track is already mid-February. It is the 1st qualifying competition for the Olympic Games, so that is important.”
“I’m trying to have my big peak against the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but the Games are also in the back of my mind. Hopefully we can get a lot of points this year so we don’t have to worry about that in 2024 .”