Lotte Kopecky took the stage victory in the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta on Sunday. Our Belgian road champion beat Elisa Longo Borghini in the final stage to Santiago de Compostella. This after perfect preparation work by her teammates.
In the fourth and final stage eighteen strong riders broke away, including Sofia Bertizzolo. The leading group was then reduced to four riders: Anna van der Breggen, Leah Thomas, Alena Amialiusik and Shirin van Anrooij. Thomas then managed to drop her breakaway companions on an uncategorized hill. She had an advantage of 40 seconds with 10 kilometres to go.
Liv Racing knew Lotte Kopecky was in good shape and started the pursuit well before the finish. The team launched Lotte Kopecky in the sloping final kilometre. Together with Longo Borghini she put an end to Thomas’ attack with 200 metres to go. Kopecky was then too strong for the Italian in the sprint.
“I had to win today after such a great preparation by the team. The team did everything they could to close the gap. First with the three breakaway riders, then with Thomas. That was incredibly strong, and at exactly the right moment. The timing was perfect”, said Kopecky, who made her comeback in Spain after the Olympics.
Kopecky also won the points classification on the final day. “Before the stage we talked about it in the team meeting. We had to win the stage to make that happen. It’s nice that that jersey goes home with us in the suitcase.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos