'I hope this will get a lot of young riders on their bikes' — Lotte Kopecky on her huge Tour of Flanders win

Belgian champion hopes to drive girls to cycling with victory

Lotte Kopecky
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The roar that greeted Lotte Kopecky's victory at the Tour of Flanders felt momentous. Women's cycling in Belgium is not small, obviously it still has a voice in the bike-mad country, but it certainly does not have the same heft of the powerhouse in the Netherlands to the north. Beyond Kopecky and Julie De Wilde, who finished second at Dwars door Vlaanderen, there are not stocks of talent.

It was probably a louder cheer than the one Mathieu van der Poel received for winning his second Ronde, and it certainly felt like it meant more. Kopecky, in the Belgian tricolor, stormed to victory in front of the woman widely touted as the best cyclist in the world, Annemiek van Vleuten. This could be the catalyst for an age of growth in women's cycling in the country.

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Adam Becket
News editor

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s news editor – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing. He's usually out and about on the roads of Bristol and its surrounds. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.