Will anyone stop SD Worx? The team looks unbeatable in Classics so far

Dutch super-team with Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes seems to have an answer for any situation

SD Worx
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the maelstrom that followed Demi Vollering and Lotte Kopecky's internecine sprint at Strade Bianche on Saturday, it was easy to lose sight of SD Worx's dominance once again.

As Vollering won - just - ahead of her teammate, the discourse centred around the possibility of rifts within the team; it is not often that two teammates lock horns against each other, after all.

However, in all that intrigued, it was easy to miss that this was another SD Worx one-two, a week after Kopecky had won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad ahead of Lorena Wiebes. It means that in every WorldTour one-day race they have taken part in this year, they have finished one-two.

The third one-day event they have raced this season, incidentally, was Omloop van het Hageland, won by Wiebes. They look almost unbeatable.

This is not particularly surprising, as the super-team has been the number one ranked outfit on the Women’s WorldTour for four of the last five years. The Classics are its bread and butter, with three of the last five Omloops, the three last Strade Bianches, and three of the last five Tours of Flanders being won by the team.

What must be terrifying for the team's rivals is the idea that it is getting stronger, and that so many options are now on the table. 

This year, with Wiebes on the team, there is a whole new dimension to the squad. The best sprinter in the women's peloton being on SD Worx means that her presence in a chasing group disrupts everything, as other teams will be hesitant to bring back an attack, knowing the Dutchwoman would likely win the final sprint.

There was concern that Wiebes and Kopecky might be competing for the same sprints, but at present it looks like more of a help than a hindrance.

Combine the trio of Vollering, Kopecky and Wiebes with other options like Marlen Reusser, Christine Majerus and Elena Cecchini, and on paper it looks solid. The problem for other teams is that on the road it looks solid, too.

Annemiek van Vleuten

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It helps SD Worx that the woman who would normally be best placed to challenge them, Annemiek van Vleuten, seems off-colour at the moment, finishing her first block of racing without a win, which does seem astonishing to those of us accustomed to the world champion's domination.

“At the moment we were at the top, Demi Vollering placed an attack and I hoped that someone from my team could join us, but unfortunately that didn't work and I couldn't answer that attack anymore, because I had just made an attack myself," Van Vleuten wrote on her website post Strade Bianche.

"She went at a very good time and I just couldn't go. Then you know it's going to be very difficult, especially when Kopecky and Vollering find each other."

However, Movistar are not so reliant on the Dutchwoman anymore, with the addition of Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij from Team DSM, looking like a shrewd bit of business, although they are yet to click. Emma Norsgaard's broken collarbone from Strade hampers the Spanish team, but there is promise there.

There are other contenders for the throne. Trek-Segafredo are full of winners and experienced riders, always fielding a line-up of several options, from Elisas Balsamo to Longo Borghini, via Amanda Spratt. They might not have quite fired in a Classic yet, but the potential is there; the Ronde van Drenthe and the Trofeo Alfredo Binda might provide the perfect launch pad for their one-day season.

FDJ Suez are also a team with promise, with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig taking her best ever Strade Bianche finish on Saturday, and Grace Brown waiting in the wings, ready for her moment to spring off the front. Likewise, Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team ADQ have the potential, even if they haven't delivered yet.

The problem for all of these other squads, though, is the continuing smooth running of SD Worx, a team which seems to have an answer for every situation. Kopecky and Vollering's slight falling out at Strade Bianche might have provided a bump in the road, but surely the winning machine will keep rolling on.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1