'First I focus on the Classics': Lotte Kopecky unsure of Tour de France Femmes participation in Olympic year

Belgian aiming to peak in April with Paris-Roubaix a potential target

Lotte Kopecky
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lotte Kopecky is unsure as to whether she will ride the Tour de France Femmes this year due to its close proximity to the Paris Olympics. 

The Belgian will target a combination of track events and the road race in Paris meaning that she may not make the start line for the Tour de France which begins in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in early August. 

After getting her season underway at the women’s UAE Tour next month, Kopecky will then take aim at the Classics once again. Kopecky won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Opening Weekend last year before going on to triumph for a second time at the Tour of Flanders in April. 

Speaking to the press ahead of the 2024 season, she explained that a decision on her Tour de France Femmes participation is likely to come once the Classics are out of the way. 

She said: "First I focus on the Classics because those are also very important to me. I just hope that I can make a good Classics season and just go with good vibes towards this build-up to the Olympics. 

“And then I think with the combination of track and road I already proved that this is something I can do, and it doesn't really affect track or road races for me. 

"So I'll finish the classics season in Liège and after that, I'll really make a completely detailed programme towards the Olympics. And also the Tour de France is just right after. That's also something we will discuss later if I will do the Tour de France or not."

"That's something I really want to start to really get completely planned or organised after the Classics,” she added. “Then we have a full vision of how I am at that moment. I think it's best for me to plan it pretty late."

Kopecky explained that one of her main targets this spring is to peak in time for Paris-Roubaix, a race she is yet to win. When asked whether Roubaix was an outright target, the 28-year-old wouldn’t be drawn either way. But the message was clear, if the form is there when the race comes around then Kopecky will certainly look to take it on. 

"Last year, I managed to get actually on a very high level through the whole spring but now I try to maybe peak a little bit later, more in the period of Paris-Roubaix, Amstel, Liège," she said. "Because if you are already at the real top of your game in Omloop then it's hard to keep this form for two months. 

"So yeah, I took things a little bit easier this winter, to get in my best form at the beginning of April and try to hold it the whole month."

"It's a race I just really like,” she explained when elaborating on Paris-Roubaix. “I mean, it's fighting through to every cobbled section… It's a very cool race and I just hope I can win it one day. But I also realise that it's really hard to say or dangerous to say I want to win Paris-Roubaix or put all my cards on that race because the race can be over before you know it.”

"That's why I say the month of April is for me the most important because then you know, I mean, if you're good in the Tour of Flanders then you're also good at Paris-Roubaix and you're also good in Amstel. 

"So it's more of a period I try to target and not really just that one race, although it would be nice if I can just win that race. 

"But we'll see. It's a special race, it's a nice race and I just try to go there without too much pressure. And I think that still works the best for me."

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