‘I really messed up’: Why didn’t the favourites chase Lotte Kopecky at the Tour de France Femmes?

The Belgian put 41 seconds into the GC contenders on stage one, but the time gap is no cause for concern

The chase group at the Tour de France Femmes 2023
(Image credit: Getty)

There was a feeling of frustration after the finish line of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift on Sunday. As the riders gasped for air, breathless in the humidity of Clermont-Ferrand, many were left wondering what could have been. After all, there was a yellow jersey on the line, and all but one of them missed out. 

The honours, in the end, went to Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx), the winner of the race’s first stage with a 10km solo attack. When the Belgian launched her move, she took the rest of the field by surprise, leaving some of the GC favourites with a sour taste in their mouths. 

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Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.